La Liga Exclusive: Five facts you may not know about the Valencia derby
Here is a look at some interesting things you must not miss ahead of this La Liga clash
As Valencia and Levante gear up for an epic clash for the upcoming La Liga 2020-21 season, here is a look at five important facts you must know
1. Levante are older than their cross-city rivals
Although Valencia use the name of the city, Levante are actually the older institution. They were founded in their original form in 1909, 10 years before Valencia came to into being. Yet both clubs are among the oldest in all of Spanish football, as they’re both now into their second century of existence.
2. Levante were the first guests at Mestalla
Mestalla is Valencia’s home ground and is the oldest of all the current top-flight stadiums in Spain. It was opened on May 20th, 1923, with a friendly match between Valencia and Levante, one which Valencia won 1-0.
Jose Campana of Levante
3. Their first league meeting was relatively recent
Although both clubs were formed within the first 20 years of the 20th century and played a friendly to christen Mestalla, they didn’t actually meet in league competition until the 1963/64 season. That was when Levante first made it to the top division after decades of existence in the lower leagues. Although they lost their first LaLiga meeting with Valencia at Mestalla by a 5-3 scoreline, they won the return game at their own ground 1-0.
4. Mista and the ghost goal
There was a very controversial moment in a derby played between these two teams in the 2004/05 season. Valencia won the match 2-1, but their second goal never actually crossed the line. Miguel Ángel Ferrer Martínez, better known as Mista, struck a powerful shot which hit the crossbar, bounced onto the goal line and away. Even if the goal was controversial, it stood and and helped Valencia to victory.
Kang-In-Lee of Valencia
5. Levante have never finished above Valencia in the table
Levante may have enjoyed several derby day victories, but they’ve never won the derby in the sense of finishing higher up in the table. Not once have the Granotas finished above Valencia in the final standings of Spain’s top division. The closest they’ve been to their neighbours in the final table was in 2013/14, when Valencia were eighth and Levante 10th.
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