Valencia continue red-hot form

Rejuvenated under Marcelino, Los Che have scored 21 times in their last five matches

Valencia made it 21 goals in their last five matches as they continued their unbeaten run this season with a 4-0 win over Sevilla at a vibrant Mestalla yesterday morning (Singapore time).

Marcelino Garcia Toral's side are second in La Liga, four points behind leaders Barcelona, who beat Malaga 2-0 yesterday.

While all but one of Los Che's goals came in the second half, Marcelino said it will be difficult for his team to better their first-half performance against Sevilla, when they totally dominated proceedings.

They were rewarded when Goncalo Guedes continued his rich vein of form, beating two men before rocketing a shot past the helpless Sergio Rico in the 43rd minute.

He added another in stoppage time. The on-loan winger from Paris Saint-Germain has now scored three goals and assisted another five.

The 20-year-old has been involved in more goals this season than any Portuguese player in Europe's top five leagues, including Cristiano Ronaldo.

Guedes' goals sandwiched strikes by Simone Zaza and Santi Mina in the 51st and 85th minutes respectively.

Zaza, famous for his comical penalty miss for Italy against Germany at Euro 2016, is now second in the Pichichi race on eight goals, three behind Barcelona's Lionel Messi.

Having scored with all his last seven shots on target, the 26-year-old told Super Deporte: "Messi doesn't count. To me, he is the best.

"He and Cristiano Ronaldo, who is not scoring as much as he usually does in La Liga.

"But Messi doesn't count, so if by the end of the season I'm second in the scoring list, I'll talk to La Liga and ask for a prize."

Maybe it is Marcelino who deserves a prize.

Owned by Singaporean billionaire Peter Lim, Valencia have been the butt of many jokes in Spain over the past few seasons as they veered from one crisis to the next, but just nine games into his tenure, the 52-year-old has his side playing swashbuckling football.

Asked how Marcelino has turned things around, Zaza said: "He's not an army general who won't speak to anyone, he likes to explain things and help you. He'll explain something and later you'll realise he was right." - WIRE SERVICES

Valencia CFSevilla FCla liga