Stoke v Valencia
- FT 90 +5
- HT 0-1
Stoke's hopes of advancing in the Europa League were dented as Valencia won the first leg of their last 32 tie thanks to Mehmet Topal's stunning goal.
Asmir Begovic made a fine save to deny Jonas before Topal fired an unstoppable shot into the top corner from 30 yards.
Peter Crouch came close to levelling it with an acrobatic strike, while Sofiane Feghouli's effort came back off a post.
Stoke pushed for a late equaliser but Valencia will take an away goal into the return leg in Spain on 23 February.
They were worthy winners for a performance that combined flair, grit and hard work to bring Stoke's unbeaten home record in Europe to an end.
The Potters have now lost their last six matches in all competitions, but the one-goal deficit means they can go to the Mestalla with hope.
Valencia had lost their previous eight matches against English opposition but they currently sit third in La Liga and it was easy to see why.
DID YOU KNOW?
- Stoke's defeat was their first in European competition. Their previous seven matches yielded five wins a two draws
After surviving an early scare when Jon Walters dragged wide inside 30 seconds, the Spaniards utilised their technical brilliance to take control.
They lined up with a fluid 4-2-3-1 formation in which full-backs Bruno Saltor and Jeremy Mathieu operated mainly as wingers and the brilliant Jonas dropped off striker Aritz Aduriz to orchestrate most attacks.
Stoke caused problems of their own with a more direct approach, but it was Valencia who carried the greater threat going forward.
Jonas showed quick feet to draw a superb one-handed stop from Begovic, while both Feghouli and Pablo Piatti went close as the visitors probed for an important away goal.
It duly arrived - and how. Topal abandoned his holding midfield role to venture upfield and with Stoke allowing the Turk too much time and space, he arrowed a 30-yard screamer into the top corner.
The strike was worthy of winning any match, but Stoke almost responded in kind as Crouch fired narrowly off target with a perfectly-timed overhead kick from Jermaine Pennant's right-wing cross.
Stoke had suffered only one defeat in their 10 previous European matches and the home fans continued to urge their side forward.
But it was Valencia who continued to dominate after half-time and Robert Huth diverted Feghouli's cross to safety.
Huth again denied the Algerian by deflecting his low strike on to the upright after a slick counter-attack, and Stoke were fortunate the rebound was diverted away by Begovic with Aduriz poised.
At the other end, a Pennant corner was prodded wide by Huth and substitute Ryan Shotton called Vicente Guaita into action with a deflected drive.
As the half wore on the match became scrappy and heated, with several nasty challenges flying in, and Tino Costa was fortunate to escape punishment after a studs-up challenge on Dean Whitehead.
Stoke manager Tony Pulis:
"It was a great occasion for everybody and we were playing a top team. We needed an early goal, we were desperate to score first, and we had a couple of good chances.
"They scored first and that took the pressure off them. For the goal I was disappointed we never got to the ball quick enough but as soon as he hit it was a goal.
"There were some very, very bad challenges. We've been caught a few times in our last couple of games. The ref had a great view and the linesman as well."
- 01 Begovic
- 04 Huth
- 17 Shawcross Booked
- 28 Wilkinson Booked
- 12 Wilson (Shotton - 69' )
- 16 Pennant
- 24 Delap
- 26 Etherington Booked
- 40 Palacios (Whitehead - 53' Booked )
- 19 Walters Booked
- 25 Crouch (Jerome - 69' )
- 29 Sorensen
- 30 Shotton
- 06 Whelan
- 18 Whitehead
- 09 Jones
- 10 Fuller
- 33 Jerome
- 13 Guaita
- 02 Bruno (Miguel - 81' )
- 04 Rami Booked
- 15 Angel Dealbert
- 22 Mathieu
- 05 Topal
- 08 Feghouli
- 24 Facundo Costa Booked
- 07 Oliveira
- 11 Aduriz (Soldado - 77' )
- 14 Piatti (Bernat - 88' )
- 01 Diego Alves
- 18 Ruiz
- 23 Miguel
- 06 Albelda
- 10 Banega
- 28 Bernat
- 09 Soldado
Live Text Commentary
Full Time The match has reached full-time.90:00 +4:02
The assistant referee flags for offside against Roberto Soldado. Asmir Begovic takes the free kick.90:00 +2:56
Free kick crossed by Facundo Tino Costa.90:00 +2:56 Booking
Booking Andy Wilkinson receives a caution for unsporting behaviour.90:00 +2:52
Free kick awarded for a foul by Andy Wilkinson on Juan Bernat.87:36
Facundo Tino Costa takes the direct free kick.87:36 Substitution
Substitution Pablo Piatti leaves the field to be replaced by Juan Bernat.87:36
Dean Whitehead handles the ball and concedes a free kick.86:38
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Pablo Piatti by Rory Delap. Direct free kick taken by Facundo Tino Costa.85:35
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Pablo Piatti by Rory Delap. Shot on goal comes in from Facundo Tino Costa from the free kick.84:42
Free kick taken by Angel Dealbert.84:42 Booking
Booking The referee shows Facundo Tino Costa a yellow card for dissent.84:42 Booking
Booking Dean Whitehead is cautioned by the ref for dissent.83:46 Booking
Booking Jonathan Walters is cautioned by the ref for unsporting behaviour.83:45
Facundo Tino Costa fouled by Jonathan Walters, the ref awards a free kick.82:00 Booking
Booking Matthew Etherington receives a caution for unsporting behaviour.80:41 Substitution
Substitution (Valencia) makes a substitution, with Luis Miguel coming on for Saltor Bruno.77:33
Inswinging corner taken left-footed by Matthew Etherington, save by Vicente Guaita.76:43 Substitution
Substitution Roberto Soldado on for Aritz Aduriz.75:30
Facundo Tino Costa has a shot on goal from long range that goes wide left.
The ball is delivered by Matthew Etherington. Shot by Ryan Shotton from 25 yards. Save by Vicente Guaita.73:31
Corner taken by Jermaine Pennant, Robert Huth produces a volleyed right-footed shot from deep inside the penalty box which goes wide of the left-hand upright.72:25
Asmir Begovic restarts play with the free kick.72:25 Booking
Booking Booking for Adil Rami for time wasting.72:19
Matthew Etherington fouled by Saltor Bruno, the ref awards a free kick.70:19
Sofiane Feghouli produces a left-footed shot from inside the area and hits the post.69:44
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Ryan Shawcross by Oliveira Jonas. Ryan Shawcross takes the free kick.68:21
Facundo Tino Costa takes the free kick.68:21 Substitution
Substitution Ryan Shotton joins the action as a substitute, replacing Marc Wilson.68:21 Substitution
Substitution Cameron Jerome is brought on as a substitute for Peter Crouch.68:21
Rory Delap gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Pablo Piatti.68:13
Matthew Etherington crosses the ball, save by Vicente Guaita.67:58
Saltor Bruno sends in a cross, save by Asmir Begovic.65:46
Angel Dealbert gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Jonathan Walters. Matthew Etherington takes the direct free kick.62:58
Mehmet Topal challenges Jonathan Walters unfairly and gives away a free kick. Jermaine Pennant restarts play with the free kick.61:33
Andy Wilkinson fouled by Pablo Piatti, the ref awards a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Ryan Shawcross.60:32
Corner from left by-line taken by Jermaine Pennant.60:24
Headed effort from inside the area by Peter Crouch misses to the left of the target.59:22
Matthew Etherington challenges Sofiane Feghouli unfairly and gives away a free kick. Vicente Guaita takes the free kick.55:53
Matthew Etherington sends in a cross, save by Vicente Guaita.55:38
A cross is delivered by Jermaine Pennant, clearance made by Adil Rami.53:56
Facundo Tino Costa takes the free kick.53:56 Booking
Booking Ryan Shawcross receives a yellow card for unsporting behaviour.53:50
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Aritz Aduriz by Ryan Shawcross.52:08 Substitution
Substitution Wilson Palacios goes off and Dean Whitehead comes on.50:41
Short corner taken by Facundo Tino Costa from the right by-line.50:17
Sofiane Feghouli sends in a cross, Robert Huth makes a clearance.48:39
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Wilson Palacios by Oliveira Jonas. Robert Huth restarts play with the free kick.45:01
The referee gets the second half underway.45:00 +2:04 Half time
Half Time The half-time whistle blows.45:00 +1:47
Pablo Piatti sends in a cross.45:00 +0:59
Jermaine Pennant is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Vicente Guaita restarts play with the free kick.45:00 +0:04
Aritz Aduriz delivers the ball.44:35
Corner taken right-footed by Jermaine Pennant to the near post, clearance by Oliveira Jonas.43:54
Matthew Etherington delivers the ball.42:30
Corner taken left-footed by Matthew Etherington from the right by-line, Vicente Guaita makes a save.40:37
Adil Rami has an effort at goal from a long way out that misses to the right of the goal.39:59
The ball is swung over by Facundo Tino Costa.39:17
Jermaine Pennant produces a cross, Peter Crouch has an effort at goal from deep inside the area missing to the right of the target.38:31
Effort from outside the penalty box by Facundo Tino Costa goes wide left of the goal.38:20
Inswinging corner taken by Facundo Tino Costa from the right by-line, Peter Crouch makes a clearance.35:51 Goal scored
Goal! - Mehmet Topal - Stoke 0 - 1 Valencia Mehmet Topal scores a goal from a long way out to the top left corner of the goal. Stoke 0-1 Valencia.34:22
The ball is crossed by Matthew Etherington, Jeremy Mathieu makes a clearance.33:58
Jeremy Mathieu produces a cross.29:04
Jermaine Pennant produces a cross.28:41
The ball is sent over by Saltor Bruno, clearance by Rory Delap.28:02
Pablo Piatti produces a left-footed shot from just outside the box that goes wide left of the target. Outswinging corner taken by Facundo Tino Costa.27:30
Inswinging corner taken by Facundo Tino Costa from the right by-line. Shot from 20 yards by Sofiane Feghouli. Blocked by Robert Huth.26:54
Effort from inside the area by Pablo Piatti misses to the right of the target.26:11
Ryan Shawcross is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Free kick taken by Vicente Guaita.26:00
The ball is crossed by Rory Delap.24:08
Aritz Aduriz gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Ryan Shawcross. Free kick taken by Asmir Begovic.21:10
Jeremy Mathieu delivers the ball.20:54
Oliveira Jonas takes a shot. Save made by Asmir Begovic.16:20
Free kick awarded for a foul by Robert Huth on Aritz Aduriz. Direct free kick taken by Vicente Guaita.16:09
Inswinging corner taken from the right by-line by Matthew Etherington, save by Vicente Guaita.12:29
Pablo Piatti challenges Jermaine Pennant unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick taken by Asmir Begovic.11:02
Unfair challenge on Mehmet Topal by Peter Crouch results in a free kick. Free kick crossed left-footed by Facundo Tino Costa, save by Asmir Begovic.8:54
Foul by Robert Huth on Aritz Aduriz, free kick awarded. Facundo Tino Costa restarts play with the free kick.7:33
Inswinging corner taken left-footed by Matthew Etherington played to the near post, save by Vicente Guaita.6:37
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Peter Crouch by Adil Rami. Matthew Etherington crosses the ball in from the free kick, clearance by Jeremy Mathieu.6:10
Matthew Etherington takes the inswinging corner, save made by Vicente Guaita.4:42
Foul by Peter Crouch on Angel Dealbert, free kick awarded. Angel Dealbert takes the free kick.4:12
The referee blows for offside against Jonathan Walters. Adil Rami restarts play with the free kick.3:38
Handball decision goes against Aritz Aduriz. Free kick taken by Robert Huth.1:17
Wilson Palacios concedes a free kick for a foul on Oliveira Jonas. Vicente Guaita takes the free kick.1:05
The ball is crossed by Matthew Etherington.0:25
Jonathan Walters produces a drilled right-footed shot from deep inside the penalty area which goes wide of the left-hand post.0:00
The referee gets the game underway.
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