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Valencia have the measure of Stoke

Published: Friday 17 February 2012, 3.00CET
Valencia CF ended Stoke City FC's unbeaten home record with a 1-0 first-leg success in their UEFA Europa League round of 32 tie and will look to close the book on the Potters in Spain.
Valencia have the measure of Stoke
Mehmet Topal scores the only goal of the first leg, a long-range shot ©Getty Images
Published: Friday 17 February 2012, 3.00CET

Valencia have the measure of Stoke

Valencia CF ended Stoke City FC's unbeaten home record with a 1-0 first-leg success in their UEFA Europa League round of 32 tie and will look to close the book on the Potters in Spain.

Valencia CF will look to close the book on Stoke City FC's UEFA Europa League campaign and line up a round of 16 meeting with Trabzonspor AŞ or PSV Eindhoven.

• A thunderous strike from Mehmet Topal (36) condemned Stoke to their first home loss in eight UEFA competition fixtures; their previous seven UEFA home games had given the Potters five wins and two draws. It was Valencia's first win against English opponents in five attempts under Unai Emery.

Previous meetings
• The sides have been paired for the first time in UEFA club competition, and this is Stoke's first encounter with Spanish opponents.

• Valencia's 32 games against English teams have ended W9 D15 L8 (W7 D5 L3 at home).

• The Spanish outfit drew 0-0 with Arsenal FC in the final of the 1979/80 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup in Brussels, taking the trophy with a 5-4 shoot-out win. They beat Nottingham Forest FC on away goals in the subsequent UEFA Super Cup games.

• Going into the first leg, Valencia had not won in their last eight meetings with English clubs – four draws, four defeats – since a 2-1 UEFA Champions League second group stage home victory against Arsenal on 19 March 2003.

Match background
• Valencia finished third behind Chelsea FC and Bayer 04 Leverkusen in UEFA Champions League Group E, losing 3-0 at Stamford Bridge on matchday six to move into this competition.

• A 3-1 reverse at Beşiktaş JK on matchday six game ended Stoke's 11-game unbeaten European run, which stretched back to a 4-0 defeat at 1. FC Kaiserslautern in September 1972.

• This is Stoke's first experience of the spring phase of European competition.

• Valencia are unbeaten in six European home fixtures − four wins and two draws − since they lost 1-0 to Manchester United FC in the 2010/11 UEFA Champions League group stage.

• The Spanish side lifted the UEFA Cup in 2003/04, beating Olympique de Marseille 2-0 in the final in Gothenburg. They bowed out in the round of 32 to FC Steaua Bucureşti in 2004/05 and FC Dynamo Kyiv in 2008/09, but forged on to the quarter-finals in 2009/10 where they lost on away goals to eventual winners Club Atlético de Madrid.

• Valencia are unbeaten in six UEFA Europa League games since a 1-0 loss at Club Brugge KV in the first leg of the 2009/10 round of 32. They won the return encounter 3-0 then drew their subsequent four fixtures.

Team facts
• Valencia's Daniel Parejo played in England in 2008, representing Queens Park Rangers FC while on loan from Real Madrid CF.

• Peter Crouch is yet to score in six games against Spanish opponents. However, he struck twice when he faced Valencia midfielder Mehmet Topal, in a 3-2 win for Liverpool FC against Galatasaray AŞ at Anfield in the 2006/07 UEFA Champions League group stage, where Stoke's Jermaine Pennant also lined up for the Reds.

• Stoke's Welsh manager Tony Pulis is making his continental coaching debut this season. Highly regarded for leading the Potters back into the Premier League, he has to look back several decades for his only previous involvement in European competition: he featured for Wales as a defender in seven International Youth Tournament games in 1975 and 1976.

• The son and grandson of famous goalkeepers, Valencia coach Emery had a modest playing career but learned quickly as a coach at Lorca Deportiva CF and UD Almería, with whom he won promotion to the Liga. Valencia chose him to replace Ronald Koeman as coach in 2008.

Round of 16
• The winners of this tie will take on the victors between Trabzonspor and PSV in the round of 16 on 8 and 15 March, playing the first leg at home.

• Stoke have met neither of their potential opponents in UEFA competition.

• Valencia have never come across Trabzonspor, but were paired with PSV in the 1999/2000 UEFA Champions League first group stage; the teams drew 1-1 in Eindhoven, Valencia then winning their home match 1-0.

Competition statistics
• An updated version of the UEFA Europa League Statistics Handbook is available here:
http://www.uefa.com/uefaeuropaleague/news/newsid=1750416.html

Last updated: 20/02/12 14.59CET

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