Diego Alves broke the record for penalty saves in LaLiga as Valencia beat Leganes 2-1 at Butarque.
The Brazilian kept out Alexander Szymanowski’s second-half spot-kick to help his side to a second league win of the season in their first match since the sacking of head coach Pako Ayestaran.
Szymanowski had put the home side ahead after 21 minutes from Omar Ramos’ delivery, but Nani’s first Valencia goal drew the visitors level in controversial fashion 13 minutes later.
Rodrigo appeared to knock the ball out of the grasp of goalkeeper Jon Serantes after a heavy coming together in the box, but referee David Jose Fernandez Borbalan allowed play to continue, with Nani curling into the bottom corner.
Nani helped to complete the turnaround six minutes after half-team, his whipped cross from the left allowing Mario Suarez to prod in his first goal since joining on loan from Watford, before Alves went from villain to hero in the space of a minute.
Having missed a punch and then bundled Alberto to the ground, he made a brilliant one-handed save low to his right to keep out Szymanowski’s resulting penalty to move on to 17 saves from 35 spot-kicks faced in Spain’s top flight – one more than the previous record held by Barcelona great Andoni Zubizarreta.
Valencia held firm to make it two wins in two for caretaker boss Voro, who said this week that he expects a new head coach to be appointed before next Sunday’s match against Atletico Madrid at Mestalla.
Former Villarreal boss Marcelino has been linked with the post, as well as ex-Spain midfielder Ruben Baraja, who twice won LaLiga as a player with Valencia and was head coach of Elche until he stepped down in June.
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