Betis loss condemns Valencia to worst LaLiga start in 17 years
Pako Ayestaran’s side have lost their three opening games. The club hasn’t started so poorly since 1999, when Héctor Cúper’s side ultimately reached the Champions League final.
Valencia’s last-gasp 3-2 defeat to Betis on Sunday afternoon condemned the Mestalla side to their worst league start in 17 years.
Pointless Valencia lie at the foot of the table
An opening day loss at home to Las Palmas (2-4) and a disappointing defeat at Eibar (1-0) a week later saw Valencia fall to the bottom of the table. Sunday’s loss sees them stay in the dropzone alongside Celta as the only other side to have lost their opening three games.
1999: an even worse start under Héctor Cúper
You’d have to go back to the 1999-2000 season to find an equally poor start. Héctor Cúper’s side actually started out with four straight defeats that year – against Racing Santander (1-2), Espanyol (3-2), Alavés (0-2) and Betis (1-0) – before winning a point at home to Valladolid (0-0). Valencia’s first win that season was, coincidentally, against Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabéu (2-3).
Third place and a Champions League final
Despite their bad start, Valencia’s season improved dramatically as the year went on. Los ché ultimately finished third in the league behind champions Deportivo la Coruña and Barcelona. They also reached the Champions League final, which they lost 3-0 to Real Madrid in Paris.