Valencia CF needed the fight of their lives to subdue Genoa CFC at the Mestalla with the Italian side leading and then equalising before substitute David Villa's late penalty won the game.
Sergio Floccari gave Genoa the lead and Houssine Kharja struck a 64th-minute penalty to level after second-half strikes from David Silva and Nikola Žigić had put Valencia ahead, but the Liga side earned three points thanks to that Villa moment when, after being sent through by fellow substitute Joaquín, he forced Andrea Esposito to give away the crucial spot-kick.
That Genoa took the lead was a surprise. Their hosts had flooded forward, totally undaunted by the five-man defence they faced, with Juan Mata, Silva and Žigić all striking shots narrowly past or above Marco Amelia's goal within the first 25 minutes. However, the Italians' attacking tactic was to waste nothing when they came within range of César Sánchez. Ángel Dealbert headed off the line when the Valencia keeper collided with Floccari, and within seconds, Salvatore Bocchetti won a header at the edge of the Valencia box, David Navarro was caught napping and if Floccari was surprised to find himself onside within half a metre of goal, it did not stop him scoring.
However, Valencia passed their way out of trouble. Seven minutes into the second half Éver Banega threaded a pass which confounded Sokratis Papastathopoulos, Silva stole the ball and clipped it home. Parity became a lead within four minutes. Mata again foxed Papastathopoulos and his pass squirmed past Emiliano Moretti for Žigić to make it 2-1. Genoa's Greek defender took some revenge in the 64th minute when Jérémy Mathieu hauled him down and Kharja stroked home the penalty, but then came the final act as Villa stormed to Valencia's rescue.
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