Gary Neville Celebrates 41st Birthday With A Big Win Over Rapid Vienna

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Under-fire Neville earned some much-needed breathing space as his side thrashed Rapid Vienna 6-0 in the first leg of their Europa League last-32 tie at the Mestalla but won’t be celebrating it, even on his birthday.

It made for a perfect 41st birthday for Neville, coming after his side claimed their long-awaited first La Liga win under his charge against Espanyol last weekend.

Neville told reporters: “Obviously the result makes it my best night in Valencia.

“But I’ve never celebrated victories halfway through the season and this will not be the first time.”

Neville did not taste victory in any of his first 12 matches in the Primera Division and has been facing calls for his sacking from fans and media.

He hopes the corner has now been turned in terms of results — although he insists the team has been playing well for some time.

The former England and Manchester United defender said: “I hope to start a positive run but it is dangerous to start thinking about turning points.

“I never thought I needed a result to see a turning point — sometimes we cannot explain how we have not got wins.
“The squad is stronger, more confident. I’m very happy about tonight but now I’m focused on Granada.”

Most of the damage was done in the first half as Valencia raced into a 5-0 lead. The outstanding Santi Mina struck twice and set up another three. Daniel Parejo, Alvaro Negredo, Andre Gomes and Rodrigo were the other players on the scoresheet.

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