Europa League

April 5, 2012



4 - 0

AZ Alkmaar

Europa League

19:05 +00:00, April 5, 2012

Mestalla, Spain

Referee: Pavel Kralovec

2nd Leg: 5 - 2 (Agg)


    FT The result and the manner of the performance should ease some of the pressure on Valencia manager Unai Emery.


    FT Rami scored the two crucial opening goals that settled things down for Valencia. Allowing them to stroll through the rest of the match.


    FT A 4-0 win for Valencia on the night and they cruise into the semi-finals, along with two other Spanish sides.

  • 90'

    The referee brings AZ's torment to an end and blows the final whistle.

  • 89'

    Gudmundsson leaps at the back post and heads the ball down into the ground. But Alves has read the shot and saves it.

  • 88'

    Gudmundsson wins a corner off Mathieu. It's sign of AZ's mindset that the ball goes back into their own half.

  • 87'

    Mathieu has charged all the way forward from fullback but Soldado can't find him with the pass.

  • 86'

    AZ have the ball but there is no urgency to get forward. They know they are going out of the Europa League.

  • 85'

    AZ can't get near the ball now.

  • 84'

    If you have any comments to make about this game as it runs to a conclusion, send them to me via twitter at @espnsoccerntfc

  • 83'

    Valencia celebrate what will surely be a victory against AZ

  • 82'

    Costa is given a well-earned rest and on comes Maduro to face his countrymen.

  • 81'

    Well, it's all over now. Unless this turns out to be the most amazing final few minutes in Europa League history.

  • 80'

    Pablo steadied himself and slotted the ball into the far corner - with no AZ player near him after the ball was cut back.

  • 79'

    GOAL Pablo has curled one in from 12-yards out.

  • 78'

    Beerans won't be putting bad crosses into the box anymore as he has been replaced by Falkenburg.

  • 77'

    As it stands, all three Spanish teams will go through to the Europa League semi-finals.

  • 76'

    Martens hoofs a hopeful cross into the box that Alves claims, unchallenged.

  • 75'

    Valencia make another change. Feghouli goes off to much applause and one comes Pablo.

  • 74'

    Barragan gets booked for taking out Gudmundsson and will miss the first leg of the semi-final.

  • 73'

    The game restarts and AZ have the ball deep in their own half... not where they need to be.

  • 72'

    Poulsen looks like he has lost a contact lense or something.

  • 71'

    A reminder there for Valencia that one goal would make for a nervy end at the Mestalla.

  • 70'

    Benshop wins the ball deep in Valencia territory. Martens shoots from the edged of the box and Alves has to make a very good save.

  • 69'

    Feghouli whips in a cross and Saldoda is inches away from scoring number four for Valencia.

  • 68'

    AZ follow suit. Off goes Altidore and on comes big target man Benshop.

  • 67'

    Valencia make a change. Jonas goes off and on comes Parejo - who once played for Crystal Palace.

  • 66'

    AZ are second in the Eredivise but they look poor and lacking ideas here in Spain.

  • 65'

    Altidore controls the ball, holds off his man and then misplaces his pass to Beermans.

  • 64'

    It's all got a bit scrappy.

  • 63'

    AZ's subs are warming up on the touchline. The Dutch side certainly need something different.

  • 62'

    Soldado wins the ball in the corner. Costa picks up possession on the flank and his cross-shot brings a routine save from Esteban.

  • 61'

    Mathieu makes a good tackle on Beermans to deny him the chance to cross the ball.

  • 60'

    Stat Defender Adil Rami has now scored three of Valencia's last five goals in the Europa League.

  • 59'

    AZ look demoralised.

  • 58'

    Valencia ping the ball around the edge of the box. Jones shoots but his effort goes well over the bar.

  • 57'

    The Mestella crowd have found their voices now. The fans think the semi-finals are secured.

  • 56'

    Well, two goals needed for AZ now. And that seems very unlikely at the moment.

  • 55'

    Feghouli slipped the ball through to Saldado, who cut it back for Alba to tap in. Great goal!

  • 54'

    GOAL Alba taps in from three yards.

  • 53'

    Beermans and Maher combine on the right flank but when the ball comes to Altidore he is on his heels and not ready for it.

  • 52'

    Alba robs Maher in the midfield. Costa attempts a throughball but Moisander reads it for AZ.

  • 51'

    Poulsen partially clears the danger. Soldado heads at goal at the far post but Marcellis makes a fantastic block.

  • 50'

    Soldado wins a freekick on the flank.

  • 49'

    Beerans runs at his man and beats him yet again. This time his cross is met by the head of Martens but he can't direct the ball on target.

  • 48'

    Alba clips a pass into the box for Mathieu to chase but the pass is a tad too heavy and Esteban collects the ball for AZ.

  • 47'

    Alberto Costa is running the midfield again for Valencia - picking up from where he left off in the first-half.

  • 46'

    AZ make a change for the start of the second-half. Holman is off and on comes Iceland U21 Gudmundsson.


    Adil Rami scored twice in the space of two minutes to put Valencia 2-0 up against AZ


    HT AZ manager Gertjan Verbeek will have to give his team a crash course in how to defend short corners though, or they will soon be completely out of this game.


    HT Well AZ are two goals down on the night but only need to score one to force extra-time as it stands.

  • 45'

    That's the final action of the half as the ref blows his whistle.

  • 44'

    Jonas wins the ball from Elm but the ref gives a foul. AZ reject the chance to launch it into the Valencia box.

  • 43'

    Valencia keep the pressure on and Alba heads into the side netting at the far post.

  • 42'

    It's another short one and this time Esteban makes a good save from Saldado at the near post. AZ just can't deal with these short corners.

  • 41'

    Jonas chases a lost cause and wins a corner.... look out AZ!

  • 40'

    Holman has the ball at the right end of the pitch now. He shoots from distance but his effort goes well wide.

  • 39'

    Holamn made a forward's challenge but it was never a penalty.

  • 38'

    Viergever runs the ball out of play trying to clear his lines. From the throw-in, Ferghouli goes down in the box looking for a penalty... he doesn't get one.

  • 37'

    Altidore is incorrectly called for offside after breaking free of the Valencia defence.

  • 36'

    Viergever brings the ball out of defence for AZ. He waltzes through midfield but panics when he nears the opposition's box and gives the ball away.

  • 35'

    Valencia are happy to keep the ball in defence at the moment.

  • 34'

    Altidore collects the ball in the right channel, he looks up for support but all he sees is three white shirts closing him down.

  • 33'

    Valencia take it short yet again but this time AZ are out quickly to prevent the cross coming into the box.

  • 32'

    Soldado outmuscles Viergever and slips a pass into the box for Costa, who wins a corner.

  • 31'

    Beerens is showing a lot of skill on the ball but his final pass is always poor. He takes the wrong option once again.

  • 30'

    Feghouli clips the ball forward for Alba, but the pass is a little too heavy and AZ clear.

  • 29'

    Topal takes down Holman. Freekick to AZ.

  • 28'

    Jonas cuts inside and takes a long-range pot-shot that dips but is too high and too wide of the goal.

  • 27'

    Valencia are having so much joy down AZ's right flank they may need to make a chnage.

  • 26'

    Jonas steps over a low cut-back. Soldado attempts a back-heel shot from the penalty spot but his effort is weak.

  • 24'

    From the corner the ball spills loose in Valencia box but their are no blue-shirted AZ players there to pounce on it.

  • 23'

    AZ midfielder Maher takes a shot from outside the box. It dips but Alves is aware enough to palm the shot over his bar.

  • 22'

    Holman probes the Valencia back four but his pass to Altidore is into a crowded area and the USA international can do nothing with it.

  • 21'

    Poulsen passes the ball across the back four as the Dutch are happy to keep possession for a spell.

  • 20'

    AZ come again. Beerens dances down the right flank but his cross is yet another bad one.

  • 19'

    Soldado shrugs off his marker, Viergever, in the box and shoots just past the post on the rurn.

  • 18'

    It's 3-2 to Valencia on aggregate but one away goal for AZ would make it all square. They need to learn to defend set-pieces first though.

  • 17'

    The corner was taken short to Costa, flicked on by Soldado and Rami taps it home at the back post.

  • 16'

    GOAL Rami scores again from another short corner!

  • 15'

    The ball was whipped in from a short corner and centre-back Rami headed as Esteban came out flapping at the ball once again.

  • 14'

    GOAL Rami has headed in for Valencia.

  • 13'

    Valencia have a corner...

  • 12'

    The atmosphere is really building at the Mestella.

  • 11'

    Altidore with another horrific touch. This time the ball nearly bounces back into his own half.

  • 10'

    Soldado controls the ball in the air, shoots on the turn and forces Esteban to make a good save in the AZ goal.

  • 9'

    Rightback Barragan is playing right up the pitch for Valencia and has seen a lot of the ball early on... although he has done nothing with it yet.

  • 8'

    AZ are not be playing for a draw here, despite being in the box seat. The Dutch side are really going fopr it.

  • 7'

    Viergever makes a good tackle on Saldado in the box, at the expense of a corner. AZ defend it well.

  • 6'

    Beerens breaks down the left, beats his man and then cuts inside. The forward whips in a cross but its a poor one.

  • 5'

    Costa scuffs a shot wide from the edge of the box following a corner.

  • 4'

    Costa gets to try again and delivers the freekick to the back post. AZ keeper Esteban comes to punch and gets nowhere near, but the danger passes.

  • 3'

    ...Costa gets booked for taking it quickly. Very harsh that.

  • 3'

    Barragan skips past Poulsen on the flank. Valencia win a freeckick on the edge of the box....

  • 2'

    Poor lay-off by Altidore, but AZ have made a good start at the Mestalla.

  • 1'

    Valencia get the game underway, kicking from right to left, wearing their white and black strip.


    Valencia have not won for four games in La Liga and Europe combined so they will need an upturn in fortunes tonight, as they need a victory to go through.


    Join us for live commentary at 20.05 GMT to see if Valencia get get back into this tie.


    A late strike from Maarten Martens edged a tight first leg in the hosts' favour at the AFAA Stadium last week, and Los Che - one of three Spanish teams remaining in the competition - go into the match having let slip their hold on third place in the Primera Division after a string of indifferent results.


    Valencia coach Unai Emery does not believe uncertainty over his future will affect his players as they look to overturn a 2-1 deficit against AZ Alkmaar and progress to the Europa League semi-finals.