Thursday February 16, 2012 Last 32 Finished Britannia Stadium

Stoke City 0 - 1 Valencia CF

  • Topal 36’

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  1. Classy Valencia edge past Stoke

    Classy Valencia edge past Stoke

    Mehmet Topal's spectacular long-range strike gave Valencia a 1-0 victory over Stoke in the first leg of their last-32 Europa League tie. More

  • Live Commentary

    Time:90'
    • Stoke City
    • Valencia CF
    • 94' FULL TIME. It finishes Stoke 0-1 Valencia.
    • 92' Wilkinson is booked for a foul. Stoke really racking them up in these final stages.
    • 90' The fourth official has indicated four additional minutes.
    • 88' That yellow card for Tino Costa means he will miss the second leg at the Mestalla.
    • 87' And Tino Costa is booked for his part too. Maybe we can play some football again now.
    • 86' The cards are being shown for fun now. Whitehead is booked for taking the argument to Costa.
    • 86' Walters has gone into the book for something he's said.
    • 85' Tempers fraying here. Tino Costa gets away with a very nasty challenge on Whitehead. Can't believe the referee has not carded the Valencia midfielder there.
    • 83' Etherington reacts with a shove on Miguel, and the Stoke man goes into the book.
    • 82' And Miguel's first contribution is a crunching tackle on Etherington.
    • 81' Valencia sub: Miguel on, Bruno off
    • 80' Valencia clear another Delap throw-in and burst forward on the break, but Pennant gets back to make a superb - and vital - tackle on Soldado.
    • 77' Valencia sub: Soldado on, Jonas off
    • 76' The substitutes combine as Jerome lays the ball to his right, and Shotton fires in a shot from 20 yards. But a deflection takes the sting off it and Guaita can gather.
    • 74' Valencia's Rami is booked for kicking the ball away. I'm sure the 55 travelling fans wouldn't have been pleased with that.
    • 73' Feghouli's shot infact took a deflection off Robert Huth's heel before it struck the post. Stoke escape there.
    • 72' Valencia hit the post! Substitute Shotton gives the ball away and Piatti burst forward on the break. The ball reaches Feghouli, who cuts in from the right and fires a shot against the inside of the post with his left foot.
    • 71' Tony Pulis shakes things up for the final time tonight, making a double change.
    • 70' Stoke sub: Shotton on, Wilson off.
    • 69' Stoke sub: Jerome on, Crouch off.
    • 68' Etherington stretches his legs down the left wing and delivers a pacy ball into the box that Guaita punches clear.
    • 65' Having said that, Valencia seem to have survived that Stoke onslaught and are knocking the ball around more comfortably at the moment.
    • 63' Valencia are doing this the hard way. Defending very deep and inviting Stoke onto them...
    • 61' But Etherington's corner is too high for Shawcross, and Valencia can breathe again...
    • 60' Pennant puts a better ball in this time and Crouch nods it down towards Walters, but Topal is on hand to clear - not very convincingly - for a Stoke corner...
    • 59' Pennant suddenly has open space in front of him and, with Crouch and Walters waiting for the cross, Pennant's ball this time is overhit and Etherington fails to collect it on the opposite side.
    • 57' Tino Costa has caught Whitehead late, and the Stoke man has made his feelings about that challenge known to the referee.
    • 56' But that play by Pennant has lifted the home fans.
    • 55' Great play by Pennant, who pulls a trick out of the bag before delivering a fantastic cross into Walters, but the striker can't quite reach it.
    • 54' Shawcross tugs back Aduriz as the ball is played forward, and the Stoke man sees yellow.
    • 53' Palacios has been a little off the pace tonight, and the Honduran is replaced.
    • 52' Stoke sub: Whitehead on, Palacios off
    • 51' Valencia continue to possess far more zip to their play. Stoke passengers in the early stages of the second half.
    • 49' A quiet start to the second half at the Britannia as Stoke control possession, without creating any clear chances.
    • 48' Etherington tries to skin Topal down the left wing, but the Englishman's claims for a free-kick are ignored by the referee.
    • 46' KICK OFF. Valencia get the second half underway.
    • 45' HALF TIME. The whistle blows at the end of the first 45 minutes - it's Stoke 0-1 Valencia.
    • 45' But Valencia have one last chance as Feghouli gets down that right side again, causing chaos with his cross as Stoke just about stab it away.
    • 45' Stoke need half-time to regroup.
    • 45' But Valencia clear the corner and cause Stoke trouble again at the back as Jonas gets forward and sees his cut back desperately hacked clear.
    • 44' Tino Costa slices his clearance over the bar under pressure from Crouch. Stoke really pushing here...
    • 42' Stoke fancying themselves to sneak an equaliser before half-time, winning another corner. Naturally it's greeted with a huge roar from the home fans.
    • 40' That would have bettered Topal's strike.
    • 39' That away goal means Stoke must really push for a goal and Crouch comes close with a terrific acrobatic effort! Walters rolls the ball back to Pennant, who whips in a cross from the right that Crouch bicycle kicks just wide.
    • 38' While it's been a fairly open half, that goal comes after a good period for Valencia. The Spanish side have found their stride in the last 5-10 minutes.
    • 36' GOAL! Topal scores for Valencia! My word, WHAT a strike! Topal is given the time to line up a shot 30 yards out. The Turk obliges and hammers into the top corner. Stunning strike.
    • 34' Back down the other end! Etherington takes on Bruno and beats him, but his cross is too deep for Crouch and Walters and Mathieu is able to bring it away.
    • 33' Valencia have come close to breaking Stoke down a couple of times now.
    • 31' Slick play by Valencia as Piatti threads a lovely ball into the path of Jonas, who can't get the ball from under his feet to get a shot away.
    • 29' Crouch goes down in the box, but it's a hopeful claim as Bruno merely stands his ground.
    • 27' The ball is back up the other end and Shawcross flicks Feghouli's dangerous cross out for a corner. Crucial interception by Shawcross.
    • 26' Delap swings a cross to the far post to Crouch, who heads the ball back into the danger area to Walters. The Irishman hooks the ball over his head and Shawcross sees his effort saved from close-range - but the flag is up against Shawcross.
    • 24' That's the second time Wilkinson has got away with a 'robust' challenge. You would expect him to go into the book next time.
    • 23' Piatti is clattered by Wilkinson, but the referee waves play on. Much to the disbelief of Valencia coach Unai Emery.
    • 21' Jonas could - and probably should - have done better there. But Stoke survive.
    • 20' Great chance for Valencia! Jonas dispossesses Pennant before driving into the box. He exchanges a one-two with Aduriz and bundles his way into a shooting position, but Begovic is on hand to deny him from close range.
    • 18' Pennant shows Mathieu a clear pair of heels down the right wing, but the French full-back gets back to make a crucial tackle on the winger.
    • 17' Stoke are all over Valencia in the early stages here.
    • 16' This time Aduriz wins a free-kick on the edge of the box and relieves the pressure.
    • 15' But Stoke are continuing to push as they win their second corner...
    • 14' So close for Stoke! Delap hurls the ball into the box and Valencia fail to deal with it and Walter almost gets his head to it at the far post.
    • 13' Begovic hits the ball long towards Walters, who wins a throw deep in the Valencia half. This is our first chance to see the Delapidator tonight...
    • 12' Valencia coach Unai Emery is already out of the dugout and prowling the technical area. He prepares his players for each game by supplying them with a USB stick with all the information they need on the player they'll be directly up against. Prepared.
    • 10' Aduriz wins a foul after Huth shoved him in the back but Valencia waste the resulting free-kick, as Piatti attempted a quick ball forward.
    • 8' Piatti leads the break down the right, but his cross-field pass is behind Aduriz and Stoke can clear their lines. But the Potters were exposed there.
    • 7' Stoke win their first corner of the game, but Guaita punches away comfortably and launches a Valencia counterattack...
    • 5' Valencia finally get ahold of the ball but Tino Costa overhits his throughball and Begovic sees it out for a goal kick. Stoke comfortable early on here.
    • 4' There's a break in play as Jonas receives treatment after being fouled by Palacios.
    • 3' More early positivity by Stoke as Etherington reaches the byline and delivers a dangerous cross that Valencia, not very convincingly, get clear.
    • 2' Bright start by Stoke. Walters gets behind the Valencia defence straight away, but fires his early shot just wide of the far post.
    • 1' KICK OFF. We're underway at the Britannia.
    • 20.02 Stoke may not be able to match the Mestalla for numbers but it's not lacking in noise an atmosphere. A superb (and deafening) atmosphere inside the Britannia Stadium tonight.
    • 20.00 Stoke are playing their 11th Europa League game of the season tonight, having started their campaign back in July against Hadjuk Split. This may be as good as it gets for Stoke, but what an adventure they've been on this season.
    • 19.55 Valencia manager Unai Emery: "We are aware of certain individuals, but the thing about Stoke City it is the team as a whole. We are aware of the aerial threat that comes from the throw-ins of (Rory) Delap. And in the shape of Pennant down the sides they are very quick… and also Matthew Etherington down the other side."
    • 19.50 Stoke manager Tony Pulis: “They won't fancy playing against Pete (Crouch). On his day, he's as good as anybody in the country. Even in the games when we haven't scored, he has always created chances and opportunities."
    • 19.45 That is one of four changes to the Valencia team that beat Sporting Gijon 4-0 at the weekend. Bruno, Topal, Piatti and Jonas all come in to the starting line-up.
    • 19.40 Valencia start with top scorer Roberto Soldado on the bench tonight.
    • 19.35 Asmir Begovic comes back in for Thomas Sorensen in goal while Robert Huth starts in place of Matthew Upson at the back. Jermaine Pennant and Rory Delap come in for Glenn Whelan and Kenwyne Jones.
    • 19.30 TEAMS: Stoke: Begovic, Wilkinson, Shawcross, Huth, Wilson, Pennant, Palacios, Delap, Etherington, Walters, Crouch. Subs: Sorensen, Whelan, Jones, Fuller, Whitehead, Shotton, Jerome. /// Valencia: Guaita, Bruno, Rami, Dealbert, Mathieu, Feghouli, Topal, Tino Costa, Piatti, Jonas, Aduriz. Subs: Diego Alves, Albelda, Soldado, Ever, Victor Ruiz, Miguel, Bernat.
    • 19.25 It's not quite Messi and Barcelona on a wet Thursday night but we do have La Liga's third best team in town. It should be quite the clash of cultures tonight.
    • 19.20 Thanks for following our live text commentary on the first leg of the Europa League last-32 tie between Stoke City and Valencia at the Britannia Stadium.
  • Summary

    • 72' Valencia hit the post! Substitute Shotton gives the ball away and Piatti burst forward on the break. The ball reaches Feghouli, who cuts in from the right and fires a shot against the inside of the post with his left foot.
    • 39' That away goal means Stoke must really push for a goal and Crouch comes close with a terrific acrobatic effort! Walters rolls the ball back to Pennant, who whips in a cross from the right that Crouch bicycle kicks just wide.
    • 36' GOAL! Topal scores for Valencia! My word, WHAT a strike! Topal is given the time to line up a shot 30 yards out. The Turk obliges and hammers into the top corner. Stunning strike.
    • 20' Great chance for Valencia! Jonas dispossesses Pennant before driving into the box. He exchanges a one-two with Aduriz and bundles his way into a shooting position, but Begovic is on hand to deny him from close range.
    • 14' So close for Stoke! Delap hurls the ball into the box and Valencia fail to deal with it and Walter almost gets his head to it at the far post.
    • 19.30 TEAMS: Stoke: Begovic, Wilkinson, Shawcross, Huth, Wilson, Pennant, Palacios, Delap, Etherington, Walters, Crouch. Subs: Sorensen, Whelan, Jones, Fuller, Whitehead, Shotton, Jerome. /// Valencia: Guaita, Bruno, Rami, Dealbert, Mathieu, Feghouli, Topal, Tino Costa, Piatti, Jonas, Aduriz. Subs: Diego Alves, Albelda, Soldado, Ever, Victor Ruiz, Miguel, Bernat.

Team Line-up & Ratings

  • Line-up

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    • Player Y! Users Expert My Rating
      Goalkeeper
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      Defenders
      Yellow Card - -
      Yellow Card - -
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      Substitution Out69′ - -
      Midfielders
      Substitution Out53′ - -
      - -
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      Yellow Card - -
      Strikers
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      Substitution Out69′ - -
      Subs
      Substitution In53′ Yellow Card - -
      Substitution In69′ - -
      Substitution In69′ - -
    • Player Y! Users Expert My Rating
      Goalkeeper
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      Defenders
      Substitution Out81′ - -
      Yellow Card - -
      - -
      - -
      Midfielders
      Goal - -
      Yellow Card - -
      - -
      Substitution Out88′ - -
      Strikers
      Substitution Out79′ - -
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      Subs
      Substitution In79′ - -
      Substitution In81′ - -
      Substitution In88′ - -

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