La Liga: Villa and Silva pull strings for Valencia

August 30, 2008

MADRID, Aug 30 (Reuters) - David Villa inspired Valencia to a 3-0 opening-day victory over Real Mallorca on Saturday to earn new coach Unai Emery his first Primera Liga win.

Spain striker Villa, who signed an improved contract with Valencia in the week, put the home side ahead after 34 minutes when Pablo Hernandez's deflected cross left Euro 2008's top scorer with a free header.

Four minutes later Villa cut in from the left and his parried shot rebounded for Juan Mata to nod the second.

Mallorca hit the post before the break but Valencia were always in command and Miguel Angel Angulo crossed for fellow substitute Vicente to kill off the game near the end.

'We played a good game and proved we are a changed side from last season,' Villa told Spanish television station La Sexta.

'It was nice to be able repay the club for all their hard work with some goals.'

Former Almeria coach Emery was appointed in May after Valencia, who went through three coaches last season, finished a lowly 10th in the league.

Earlier, Luis Garcia gave Espanyol a 1-0 home win over Valladolid when the Spain striker finished off a counter-attack launched by Ivan de la Pena in the 49th minute.

Champions Real Madrid visit Deportivo Coruna on Sunday looking for their first league win at the Riazor since 1991 while Barcelona travel to second division champions Numancia.