Valencia boss Marcelino has praised new signing Francis Coquelin for his performance in the 2-1 win over Deportivo La Coruna.
The Frenchman arrived at Los Che last Thursday from Arsenal and was handed an immediate start in Saturday’s fixture at the Riazor.
Goals from Goncalo Guedes and Rodrigo handed the visitors victory over struggling Depor in a result which keeps them eight points clear of fourth placed Real Madrid.
Marcelino spoke to the press following the game, praising his side’s performance, plus the debut of Coquelin.
“We’re happy and proud. We all must be. I’m happy for the players,” the Coach said after the game.
“We started in August with huge doubts, but the team have gone on to establish themselves. We’re competitive and winning games. Forty points are a lot.
“Coquelin? He asked to be changed, but it was more for his legs and it was normal, given his hustle on the pitch.
“He put in a great performance, both when defending and on the ball.”
The win against struggling Depor sees Valencia move back to within two points of Atletico Madrid, who beat Eibar narrowly by one-goal earlier in the day.
Despite pushing Barcelona in the early parts of the season, Marcelino’s side now sit 11 points off league leaders Barcelona, who beat Real Sociedad 4-2 on Sunday evening.
Elsewhere, it was a must-win game for Malaga which ended in defeat and could spelt the end of the road for coach Michel, who sacked promptly after the game.
Getafe ran out 1-0 winners on Friday evening in the opening game of match day 19, courtesy of a well-worked setpiece in the second half which Juan Cala converted with a powerful header from the centre of the area.