Valencia take third straight La Liga loss

Josan (l) celebrates Elche's first goal in their 2-1 defeat of Valencia in La Liga.
Josan (l) celebrates Elche's first goal in their 2-1 defeat of Valencia in La Liga.

Valencia continue to struggle and have slumped to a third straight defeat in La Liga, with a 2-1 defeat at Elche.

Elche dictated the first half on Friday against a Valencia side that has found life tough after failing to replace Rodrigo Moreno, Ferran Torres and Dani Parejo, who all left the club during the transfer window.

Josan curled in a strike to give Elche the lead in the 19th minute, and Fidel Chaves added their second with a pinpoint shot in the 37th.

Valencia improved after the break and pulled a goal back when South Korean midfielder Kang-In Lee released left back Toni Lato, who rounded Badia to score with 15 minutes remaining.

Kevin Gameiro was inches away from equalising for the visitors, but his effort was cleared off the line by Elche defender Gonzalo Verdu to leave Valencia in 13th place after seven games.

"We lacked intensity in the first half, they won all the loose balls and individual matchups," Valencia midfielder Carlos Soler said.

"We have to fight much harder for each ball. In the top flight you can allow yourself to make mistakes, but you can't play without energy and effort.

"It is not time to sound the alarm bells. We have to go forward, step by step, but we also have to start turning this around now."

Australian Associated Press