Late Zigic header gives Valencia win over Espanyol

Updated: January 2, 2010, 2:13 PM ET

MADRID, Jan 2 - Substitute Nikola Zigic netted in the third minute of added time to give Valencia a 1-0 win over Espanyol on Saturday to lift Unai Emery's side above Sevilla into third place in La Liga.

The towering Serb timed his run perfectly to meet Joaquin's cross from the right and send a glancing header into the corner of the net past Espanyol goalkeeper Carlos Kameni.

Injured Spain internationals David Silva and Pablo Hernandez were missing and Valencia initially struggled to create chances in a scrappy clash at the Mestalla.

La Liga top scorer David Villa raced through the Espanyol defence in the 54th minute but Cameroon international Kameni blocked his low shot superbly with an outstretched leg.

Juan Mata then picked Villa out with a cross from the left with just over 10 minutes to go but the Spain striker's header came back off a post.

Valencia have 32 points from 16 matches, two ahead of Sevilla who play at Atletico Madrid later on Saturday.

Undefeated leaders Barcelona are on 39, two more than second-placed Real Madrid, ahead of the Catalans' home match against in-form Villarreal later on Saturday. Real play at Osasuna on Sunday (2000).

(Reporting by Iain Rogers, editing by Tony Jimenez. To query or comment on this story email

This story is from's automated news wire. Wire index