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Valencia 2-0 Spurs - Lads Undone By..
VALENCIA 2-0 SPURS - LADS UNDONE BY CLINICAL SPANISH
Posted 09 August 2012 7:23pm
A fine performance in the Mestalla went unrewarded as two clinical finishes handed Valencia a 2-0 win in Thursday night's friendly.
Pre-match talk had been about Valencia's ability to keep the ball but we dictated the early play.
We had five good chances before Valencia took the lead with an absolute bolt out of the blue from Jonas on 18 minutes.
The second half saw fewer chances but we were the team pushing on when Valencia struck again through Sofianne Feghouli on 76 minutes.
Our pace down the flanks was to the fore in an impressive early spell with Aaron Lennon and Benoit Assou-Ekotto both hitting the byline to no avail.
Jermain Defoe did well to spin away from Ricardo Costa and his cross was destined for a tap-in from Lennon before Jeremy Mathieu got a toe in to clear.
Diego Alves then made a double save to deny Lennon as William Gallas flicked on Gylfi Sigurdsson's corner, Lennon's first effort was blocked by the goalkeeper's feet, the second touched around the post.
Still we pushed on. Lennon picked out Defoe in front of goal but the striker failed to connect and then Walker hit the byline and cut the ball back for Lennon, whose goalbound effort was deflected over by Victor Ruiz.
After such a bright start, we somehow found ourselves a goal down with 18 minutes on the clock. Jonas picked up the ball 30 yards out, steadied himself and hit an arrow into the top corner.
We maintained a healthy share of the possession for the rest of the half but the better chances fell to the home side, no doubt spurred on by Jonas' goal.
Joao Pereira failed to hit the target from Mathieu's cutback after 23 minutes, Jonas curled just wide minutes after and then a fine double save from Brad Friedel, out quickly to make a 50-50 with Feghouli and then up quickly to clear the danger with his feet.
The second half followed a similar pattern as we were the team looking to push forward.
There were fewer chances and the first two fell for us as Defoe looked to capitalise on hesitation between Alves and Ricardo Costa and managed to get a toe to the ball, but the keeper blocked.
Lennon and Walker then combined again to open Valencia up down the right as Lennon darted to the byline only for his cross to evade everyone.
Valencia doubled their lead after 76 minutes with just about their only half-chance of the second period.
Guardado fed in Feghouli down the right channel and he drove into the box and fired across Friedel into the far corner.
Rafa van der Vaart entered the fray on the hour and was heavily involved as we pushed on again in the final 10 minutes.
The Dutch forward showed great skill to turn two defenders inside out in the box, only to see his goalbound effort deflected wide.
He then curled a free-kick on target from 25 yards, gathered easily by Alves, before threading a pass through to Defoe, who forced a fine save from Alves, blocking with his feet.
Andros Townsend, on late for Gareth Bale, almost grabbed a consolation in injury time, but his fierce drive forced Alves into the save of the game as he tipped over at full stretch.
Valencia (4-2-3-1): Alves; Pereira, R Costa, Ruiz, Mathieu (Barragan, 86); T Costa (Albelda, 86), Gago; Feghouli, Jonas (Piatti, 73), Guardado (Pablo, 84); Alcacer (Pareja, 73).
Spurs (4-2-3-1): Friedel; Walker (Naughton, 77), Gallas, Vertonghen, Assou-Ekotto; Jenas (van der Vaart, 61), Livermore (Carroll, 88); Lennon, Sigurdsson (Kane, 80), Bale (Townsend, 77); Defoe.
Goals: Valencia - Jonas (18); Feghouli (76).
Attendance: To follow.
Referee: Mr S Gamez.