He hasn’t even played 90 minutes for the A-team in La Liga, yet Javi Guerra is the hero of Valencia football. The nineteen year old made the difference in the important win over Valladolid in the fight for salvation and steered the batsmen towards staying among the elite.
When Javi Guerra entered the field in the 89th minute, he had a clear task – to help the team break the game in Valencia’s favour. The scoreboard was lit up with two ones, which was not enough given the home environment and the situation in the table.
After four minutes on the pitch, Guerra rounded two opponents in the middle of the pitch and fired a left-footed shot towards the back post. Valladolid’s goalkeeper just looked back and the crowd celebrated the triumph, which was fired by the youngster.
Guerra’s story is a beautiful one in that, apart from a brief stint in Villarreal’s youth team, he has spent his entire career at Valencia. Now aged 19, he has started to get his first peek at the A-team, and since the spring he has been regularly at least sitting on the bench.
The match against Valladolid was his third start in the top Spanish competition and his third in a row. This time, the central midfielder made his first appearance and clearly asked for more playing time for the rest of the season.
And Valencia has a problem in the middle of the pitch, lacking a creative and productive player. He will be needed against Cadiz, Mallorca, Celta Vigo and Espanyol. In games against Real Madrid, Betis Sevilla and Villarreal, it will be more like concrete.
Valencia jumped up to 16th place with the win, but they only have a two-point lead on the relegation zone.
The table is very even this season, with every team from 14th place onwards playing for keeps. Elche are virtually assured of relegation, the others have a chance to survive.
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