Valencia CF were at their merciless best as Bursaspor endured a torrid introduction to life in the UEFA Champions League.
The Spanish side's own debutants faired much better, Tino Costa setting the foundations with a brilliant strike and then helping provide a second for another player making his bow at this level, Aritz Aduriz. Pablo Hernández sealed the Group C spoils midway through the second half before, with Bursaspor chasing a consolation, substitute Roberto Soldado made it 4-0.
Valencia have accrued a wealth of European experience over the past decade and, returning after a two-year absence from Europe's elite club competition, they started with a real sense of belonging. With Aduriz and Joaquín providing width and Alejandro Domínguez's distribution providing defensive headaches, it was no bombshell when Costa broke the deadlock on 16 minutes. The strike was all about the element of surprise, though, as with Bursaspor backing off the Argentinian unleashed an unstoppable swerving drive from all of 35 metres.
It did little to help the home side settle as passes went astray, their lack of experience at this level cruelly exposed. Not that Valencia's UEFA Champions League debutants were unduly affected by opening night nerves. Four minutes before half-time two inadvertently combined when Costa fired a free-kick against the upright and Aduriz swooped in to head in the rebound. Bursaspor were harried, grateful for the interval after Pablo Hernández chipped onto the crossbar.
The Turkish titleholders steadied the ship and, in need of a spark, Ertuğrul Sağlam turned to Sercan Yıldırım and Turgay Bahadır on the hour. Within 60 seconds the pair had conjured up the home side's best chance, Valencia scrambling the ball away. The Bursaspor defence were less effective, never more so than on 68 minutes when a combination of missed passes, skewed headers and a failed clearance ended with the ball at Pablo Hernández's feet. The midfielder mis-controlled before prodding home.
Soldado added the gloss to a fine return 14 minutes from time, running onto Pablo Hernández's pass round the corner and firing low inside the far post. Bursaspor have a lot to do before they travel to Scotland to face Rangers FC on 29 September, when Valencia host Manchester United FC.
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