Valencia beat Espanyol 2-1 on Sunday with a goal either side of halftime to earn their first league win since October and temporarily ease tensions at the crisis-stricken club, who remain one place above the relegation zone.
Supporters staged protests against club owner Peter Lim and president Layhoon Chan before the first home league game since the resignations of coach Cesare Prandelli and sporting director Jesus Garcia Pitarch.
Martin Montoya, however, lifted the crowd by opening the scoring in the 17th minute.
The former Barcelona defender slid in to finish off an impressive spell of short passing around the Espanyol area, while striker Santi Mina pounced from close range in the 73rd minute after goalkeeper Diego Lopez parried Dani Parejo’s free-kick.
Espanyol defender David Lopez bundled in a late goal for the visiting side in the 85th minute to set up a nervy finish but Valencia saw out the game to claim a first home league win since Sept. 22.
Valencia, one of Spain’s most successful clubs with six league titles, have hired eight coaches since parting ways with Unai Emery in 2012.
Their most recent appointment Prandelli resigned less than three months after taking the role, claiming the club’s billionaire owner Lim had broken promises about how many players he would be able to sign in the January transfer window.
Valencia stay 17th, but provisionally move four points ahead of 18th placed Sporting Gijon, who host Eibar later on Sunday.
Leaders Real Madrid visit third placed Sevilla on Sunday, hoping to stretch their lead over Barcelona at the top of the table to five points and continue their record unbeaten run of 40 games.