Two goals from Roberto Soldado earned Valencia a hard-fought 2-1 win as lowly Almeria failed to give new coach Jose Luis Oltra a dream start to his time in charge.
Soldado scored in either half before Leonardo Ulloa headed home a late consolation for an Almeria side who showed a great deal of spirit in the wake of their 8-0 drubbing at the hands of Barcelona last week.
That result cost coach Juan Manuel Lillo his job, and although his replacement Oltra was unable to provide the winning touch, he can at least take positives from the defeat.
Valencia came into the match on the back of a thumping 6-1 win over Bursaspor which saw them through to the last 16 of the Champions League in midweek.
And, perhaps unsurprisingly, they had the first sight of goal with just five minutes on the clock.
Juan Mata charged down the left wing before whipping in a cross for Joaquin, who chipped his effort onto the roof of the net.
Almeria came very close to scoring after 19 minutes with Miguel Angel Corona curling in a free-kick from just outside of the area which rattled the crossbar.
Within a minute the play had returned to the other end of the pitch, where visiting goalkeeper Diego Alves made a fantastic one-handed save to keep out a shot from Miguel Ricardo Costa.
And Valencia were in front five minutes later thanks to Soldado, who headed down a long cross from Bruno before turning inside his marker and stabbing home right footed.
Almeria continued to make a fight of it and had another good chance on the half-hour mark when Henok Goitom rose highest in a crowded penalty area to head Corona's corner over the bar.
But Valencia still held the edge and could have gone two in front after 34 minutes as Soldado's header from Mata's cross was tipped over the bar by Alves.
Almeria came out with intent after the interval and Pablo Piatti tried his luck with a shot from distance which went wide of the left post.
But they found themselves trailing 2-0 after 63 minutes when Vicente Guaita's goal-kick started a move which ended in Mata flicking the ball on for Soldado to fire home with his left foot.
It was a disappointing blow for Almeria, who had shown themselves to be stubborn opponents at the Mestalla.
But they received a small consolation for their efforts in the final minute when Ulloa headed in Hernan Bernardello's cross from the right.