MADRID: David Villa took his season tally to eight goals on Sunday with a double that helped Valencia beat Numancia 4-0 and return to the top of the Spanish league.
The leading scorer in the league set Valencia on the way by scoring with an angled shot in the fifth minute. His team then needed to wait until the 73rd minute before it found the net again.
Mata continued his run of having scored in every game at Valencia’s Mestalla Stadium in the league this season when he took advantage of poor Numancia defending for the second goal.
Substitute Vicente, who replaced Fernando Morientes in the 64th minute, added Valencia’s third with a fierce shot 20 minutes later, and Villa doubled his tally in the 90th.
Valencia has won six and drawn the other of its seven league matches this season. It has a perfect home record under coach Unai Emery, who took charge in May.
Numancia’s defeat dropped it to last place. The team is without a win since the opening weekend of the season, when it beat FC Barcelona in its first match since gaining promotion. After seven rounds, Valencia has 19 points, two more than Villarreal and three clear of Real Madrid.
New Osasuna coach Jose Antonio Camacho made a disappointing debut, with his team staying winless this season by losing at Gijon.
Camacho saw midfielder Carmelo Gonzalez head Gijon into an 11th-minute lead.
Although Osasuna forward Santi Ezquerro equalised four minutes later, Gijon striker Mate Bilic won the game with a 40th-minute penalty that also brought the dismissal of defender Roversio Rodrigues.
The results: Spanish League: Valladolid 1 (Victor 90) drew with Recreativo Huelva 1 (Ruben 44); Malaga 2 (Baha 31, Duda 38) bt Getafe 1 (Soldado 9); Real Betis 3 (Damia 1, Pavone 42, Emana 83) bt Real Mallorca 0; Sporting Gijon 2 (Carmelo 11, Bilic 40-pen) bt Osasuna 1 (Ezquerro 14).
Racing Santander 0 drew with Deportivo La Coruna 0; Valencia 4 (Villa 4, 89, Mata 72, Vicente 83) bt Numancia 0; Athletic Bilbao 0 lost to Barcelona 1 (Eto’o 63); Almeria 0 lost so Sevilla 1 (Adriano 52).
Italian League: AS Roma 0 lost to Inter Milan 4 (Ibrahimovic 5, 47, Stankovic 54, Obinna 56); AC Milan 3 (Ronaldinho 55-pen, 66, Inzaghi) bt Sampdoria 0; Bologna 3 (Volpi 5, Di Vaio 12, 26) bt Lazio 1 (Rocchi 51); Catania 2 (Martinez 69, Mascara 87-pen) bt Palermo 0.
Chievo 1 (Mantovani 45) drew with Atalanta 1 (Ferreira Pinto 61); Genoa 1 (Biava 20) bt Siena 0; Lecce 2 (Tiribocchi 32, Domizzi 53-og) drew with Udinese 2 (Sanchez 58, D’Agostino 71); Torino 0 lost to Cagliari 1 (Acquafresca 86). — Agencies