Valencia CF sealed their place in the UEFA Champions League knockout stages with a merciless 6-1 defeat of Bursaspor.
Two from Roberto Soldado, strikes from Juan Mata, Alejandro Domínguez and Aritz Aduriz plus one magnificent drive by Joaquín enabled Valencia to equal their record win in UEFA competition. Their progress is now guaranteed after Rangers FC's home defeat by Manchester United FC. As for Bursaspor, Argentinian midfielder Pablo Batalla hit a consolation and also made a little history in the process, his effort being their first ever goal in the competition.
The unforgiving nature of top-level football was underlined for the Turkish champions within 17 minutes. They had spent that time peppering the home goal with confident efforts and when Sercan Yıldırım burst clear, one on one, it looked certain Bursaspor would notch that historic goal sooner than they did. However, the striker's lob scraped past Miguel Ángel Moyà's right-hand post and Valencia cut loose.
Aduriz won the penalty from which Mata first punished Bursaspor and the inspiration the latter drew from his spot kick into the top right-hand corner was soon evident. Four minutes later, he took advantage of Gökçek Vederson gifting away possession, spotted Soldado's clever run and slipped the perfect pass for his team-mate to crack number two across Dimitar Ivankov.
Amid exuberant celebrations it went unnoticed, momentarily, that Moyà was prone on the turf having injured his right thigh clearing the ball. Cue 23-year-old Vicente Guaita's introduction to the fiesta and his fourth UEFA club competition appearance for Valencia. By the half-hour he had seen his colleagues streak further ahead. Winger turned full-back Jordi Alba skipped past tackles in the penalty box and fed Aduriz for 3-0, and that prompted Bursaspor to retreat from their original attacking optimism.
Unai Emery's side showed their cutting edge by marching forward, occupying the final third of the pitch – and adding a sublime fourth. Joaquín cut in from the left eight minutes before the break, edged his way around Ömer Erdoğan, captain against captain, and curled a lovely 25-metre drive into the same corner which Mata had bulged with his penalty opener.
Ertuğrul Sağlam's charges worked hard to stem the flow, but the second half brought another for Soldado ten minutes after the restart and, with 12 minutes left, a slick finish from substitute Domínguez. Some reward for their efforts came when Yıldırım fed from the right and substitute Batalla cracked in, but that was small consolation for a torrid night which ensured Bursaspor will finish bottom of Group C.
©UEFA.com 1998-2014. All rights reserved.