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Zaza hat-trick fires five-star Valencia into third


Madrid (AFP) – Italian triker Simone Zaza bagged a seven-minute hat-trick early in the second half as Valencia’s impressive start under new coach Marcelino Garcia Toral continued with a 5-0 thrashing of Malaga on Tuesday.

Valencia remain unbeaten since Marcelino took charge, including impressive draws against Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid, and victory lifts Los Che up to third in La Liga.

However, a fifth straight defeat to start the season sees Malaga slip to bottom of the table and plunges coach Michel into further danger of becoming the second La Liga boss to be sacked this term.

Santi Mina got the rout started after just 17 minutes with a neat header from Carles Soler’s cross.

Valencia could have added to their advantage before the break, but Zaza quickly put the game beyond Malaga in clinical fashion after the restart.

Soler again provided the cross for the former Juventus striker to slot home at the back post before he was left unmarked inside the box to nod home a simple header on the hour mark.

Zaza then won the ball on the edge of the Malaga box and slotted home to complete his hat-trick before substitute Rodrigo compounded an awful night for the visitors three minutes from time.

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