Valencia 3-2 Genoa: Valencia Vanquish Genoa In Five-Goal Thriller
Sergio Floccari had given the Serie A cracks the lead just before the interval, but goals from Nikola Zigic and David Silva put the home side in the lead, and in pole position to secure the points.
However, Genoa were desperate not to leave empty-handed, and thought they had been rewarded for their endeavours thanks to Houssine Kharji penalty that tied the scores at 2-2.
But Villa popped up to seal the points from the spot and send the Italians home frustrated that they could not take something from the match.
Los Che coach Unai Emery has come under pressure after a recent poor run of results that has saw their positive start to their domestic campaign appear a distant memory.
Despite this he resisted the temptation to start David Villa in attack, instead opting for the Serbian Zigic. Genoa coach Gian Piero Gasperini had watched his side go five matches unbeaten in all competitions, and set his side out to attack a Valencia defence who had conceded seven goals in their last three La Liga encounters.
And the Italians offensive outlook paid dividends on 43 minutes, when they took a deserved lead. Sergio Floccari prodded home at the back post to send Il Grifone in at the break with the advantage.
But it was a more vibrant Valencia who emerged after the interval, and it took them just eleven minutes to turn the match on its head with a quick fire double strike.
Firstly, it was David Silva who rifled home a loose ball in the penalty area with a powerful left-foot drive, and that goal gave Valencia the confidence to drive on for the victory.
Four minutes later, Zigic had the simplest of tasks to knock the ball past the despairing lunge of Marco Amelia from inside the six yard area, and Genoa were on the rack.
But Valencia’s inability to hold onto a lead at home was once again evident as Genoa battled back to level. Full-back Jeremy Mathieu was penalised for a foul inside the area, and Moroccan international Houssine Kharja coolly slotted home the spot kick to silence the home support.
It seemed that Kharja’s goal would be enough to earn his side a point, but as the clocked counted down Genoa conceded a penalty of their own.
David Villa, who arrived as a second half substitute, was on hand to roll home the kick from twelve yards, and Valencia had secured the win in what was an end-to-end contest.