VALENCIA - Valencia swept aside
Bursaspor 6-1 to qualify for the last 16 of the Champions League
on Wednesday and have set their sights on pipping Manchester
United to top spot in Group C.
Roberto Soldado scored twice, while Juan Mata, Aritz Aduriz,
Joaquin and Alejandro Dominguez added the rest against a poor
Bursaspor side, who scored their first goal of the group in the
68th minute when Pablo Batalla made it 5-1.
Valencia are three points behind leaders United who they
visit on December 7, and a win would leave them top.
"The objective obviously was to qualify for the last 16, but
we want to do it as first in the group," Valencia coach Unai
Emery told reporters.
"We have the chance to do it in a memorable setting (Old
Trafford) and against a side who beat us here at the Mestalla.
"We have to think in the short term. The team has the
capacity to go far but we aren't setting any concrete
Reaching the knockout round is a feat in itself and seemed
barely likely when they started the season back in August.
The side had just sold Spain duo David Villa and David Silva
to Barcelona and Manchester City respectively, and offloaded
Carlos Marchena, Ruben Baraja and Nikola Zigic among others to
help finance their crippling debts.
In came a handful of lower cost signings but two of those,
strikers Soldado and Aduriz, have quickly settled in while young
Spain winger Mata, 22, is flourishing with the increased
It was Aduriz who was brought down for a penalty in the 17th
minute and Mata stepped up to open the scoring from the spot.
By then, however, Bursaspor should have been in front. The
side who had lost 4-0 at home to Valencia two months ago, broke
away in the 12th minute but with only Miguel Moya to beat Sercan
Yildirim lifted his lob just wide of the post.
Valencia doubled the lead in the 21st with a well-worked
move down the right flank, Aduriz pulling back for Mata who
played Soldado in behind the defence to score in the far corner.
Jordi Alba crossed low for Aduriz to make it 3-0 at the
second attempt in the 30th and Joaquin curled a shot into the
top corner before the break.
Soldado grabbed his fifth of the competition, breaking clear
to round Dimitar Ivankov and score from a tight angle in the
Bursaspor substitute Batalla got on the end of Yildirim's
cross to score, but the ball was soon back down the other end
and after a long clearance was flicked on Dominguez scored
Valencia's sixth in the 78th.
Bursaspor coach Ertugrul Saglam said: "There isn't much to
say it has been a heavy defeat, the only person responsible is
me, the players did what they could. I apologise to the fans who
travelled with us here."
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