BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Veteran forward Jorge Molina scored twice to lead Getafe to a dominant 3-0 victory over Valencia on Saturday, strengthening its hold on third place in the Spanish league.
Getafe continues to surpass expectations for the modest club from Madrid. Its fourth straight win lifted its league total to 42 points. Leader Real Madrid has 49 and Barcelona 46 before their respective matches on Sunday.
Getafe visits Barcelona’s Camp Nou in the next round.
Getafe produced a suffocating defense to nullify Valencia before Molina knocked in a rebound to open the scoring in the 58th minute.
Molina put the result beyond doubt in the 67th with a brilliant solo effort. The 37-year-old Molina received the ball outside the area all alone and with three defenders between him and the goalkeeper. Instead of waiting for help, Molina surged past one defender and wrong-footed the remaining two with an elegant turn before firing home with his left foot.
Valencia played with 10 men for the final 12 minutes after Alessandro Florenzi was sent off for cutting down Marc Cucurella.
Forward Jaime Mata complete the demolition of Valencia in the 87th with his eighth league goal.
“Our strength is that we are a team. It doesn’t matter who plays,” Molina said. “The team played a well-rounded match. We were superior, and the result is well deserved.”
Getafe’s budget is under 60 million euros ($65 million), putting it in the middle of the financial power ranking of the 20-team league. That is compared to around 170 million euros for Valencia and more than 600 million euros for Barcelona and Real Madrid.
Valencia was left in fifth place, but it could slide down the table depending on other results this weekend. Its poor performance came after its campaign to defend its Copa del Rey title ended with a loss to Granada this week.
Valencia defender Gabriel Paulista, one of the players that Molina brushed off on his second goal, dedicated an expletive-filled rant against his team after the match.
“Everything went wrong,” Paulista said. “Our attitude today has to change. We have to be more like men on the pitch, fighting, while respecting our rivals and with no intention to do harm. But we have to be firmer in every facet of the game.”