Caballero error gifts Valencia with win against Malaga
By Mark Elkington ,ReutersMADRID -- An error by Malaga goalkeeper Willy Caballero gifted Valencia a 1-0 La Liga win at the Mestalla on Saturday and gave new coach Miroslav Djukic an opening day victory over fellow debutant Bernd Schuster.
August 19, 2013, 12:02 am TWN
Argentine Caballero came off his line to meet a freekick into his area and failed to collect the ball, which instead fell at the feet of home defender Ricardo Costa who prodded it into the net in the 65th minute.
It was a triumph of last season's fifth-placed finishers over sixth and former Yugoslavia international Djukic joined Athletic Bilbao's Ernesto Valverde and Real Sociedad's Jagoba Arrasate in enjoying debut day wins.
Sociedad earlier swept aside Getafe 2-0 at home, and Bilbao were 2-1 victors at Real Valladolid.
La Liga champions Barcelona start out at home to Levante on Sunday when Real Madrid host Real Betis at the Bernabeu.
Valencia, who are struggling to come to terms with a crippling debt which forces them to sell their best players every summer, had the best of the chances.
Despite playing without last season's top scorer Roberto Soldado, who was sold to Tottenham Hotspur, they took the game to a Malaga side also struggling financially.
Qatar-owned Malaga have been banned from taking up their place in the Europa League this season by European soccer's governing body UEFA, for late payments to creditors.
Chances were limited with Malaga surprisingly resilient considering the changes from the team Manuel Pellegrini guided to the Champions League quarter-finals last term.
Once the visitors fell behind, however, they rarely looked like getting a goal back.