The official website for European football

Valencia lifted by Mehmet's moment of magic

Published: Friday 17 February 2012, 8.52CET
"An English goal" was how Valencia CF defender Jérémy Mathieu hailed Mehmet Topal's superb long-range winner which even Stoke City FC's Matthew Etherington had to applaud.
by Simon Hart
from Stoke Stadium

This content is streamed in such a way that it is protected and available only in a Flash format. Your device seems not to be compatible with our Flash video player.

Published: Friday 17 February 2012, 8.52CET

Valencia lifted by Mehmet's moment of magic

"An English goal" was how Valencia CF defender Jérémy Mathieu hailed Mehmet Topal's superb long-range winner which even Stoke City FC's Matthew Etherington had to applaud.

Valencia CF defender Jérémy Mathieu hailed the "English goal" that Mehmet Topal scored to give them a hard-earned UEFA Europa League round of 32 advantage at Stoke City FC. In a first-leg match of few chances, Topal sent the ball flying into Asmir Begovic's net from 30 metres. "A great goal" was the verdict even of Stoke's disappointed winger Matthew Etherington.

Jérémy Mathieu, Valencia defender
There wasn't a big difference between the sides, it was a tough match with a lot of aerial challenges. We struggled to impose our game because Stoke pressed a lot and stopped us playing our game at times. The key thing is we got an away goal – it was an English goal, to put it simply. Topal scored from far out and it helped us relax. But there's still another game to play and it's not finished.

Ángel Dealbert, Valencia defender
It was a difficult game against a good team, a very physical team. We played a good game and deserved to win in the end. It was very important to score first, there weren't too many chances and whoever scored first was going to be the likely winner. It was us and we held out after that. Mehmet Topal scored a great goal, he hit it really well.

Matthew Etherington, Stoke midfielder
They scored a great goal at a time when the game was pretty even. We started off well but their goal was a very good goal. They are a great team, we're not going to say otherwise, but I thought we matched them for large parts of the game and we've got to take credit for that and take heart from it. They defended really well but in the first 20 minutes and the majority of the second half I thought we were pressing and they weren't really causing as many problems.

Dean Whitehead, Stoke midfielder
In the first half they put us under a bit of pressure. We got among them in the second and caused them a few problems but we're just not getting the breaks at the moment. They're resilient, they defended well at times and are a strong side. We will go [to the Mestalla] will plenty of confidence – we'll be underdogs but we don't mind that

Last updated: 27/11/12 19.48CET

Related information

Player profiles
Team profiles
Related match

http://www.uefa.com/uefaeuropaleague/season=2012/matches/round=2000273/match=2007424/postmatch/quotes/index.html#valencia+lifted+mehmets+moment+magic

UEFA.com features

Pick of the week: matchday one
  • Pick of the week: matchday one
  • What teams need to get through
  • Watch the five best acrobatic Champions League goals
  • Ones to watch in the group stage
  • Masterclass: Xavi on passing and control
  • Newcomers ready for Champions League debuts
  • Pick of the Week of Football
  • Berezovski and Frick join Europe's 40-somethings
  • Europe's all-time top international goalscorers
  • Introducing football in Gibraltar ...
1 of 10
  • © 1998-2014 UEFA. All rights reserved.
  • The UEFA word, the UEFA logo and all marks related to UEFA competitions, are protected by trade marks and/or copyright of UEFA. No use for commercial purposes may be made of such trade marks. Use of UEFA.com signifies your agreement to the Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.