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Valencia's Jonas polishes off Stoke

Published: Thursday 23 February 2012, 21.05CET
Valencia CF 1-0 Stoke City FC (agg: 2-0)
Jonas put the finishing touch to a fleet-footed counterattack to set his side up for a round of 16 encounter with PSV Eindhoven.
by Graham Hunter
from Mestalla
Published: Thursday 23 February 2012, 21.05CET

Valencia's Jonas polishes off Stoke

Valencia CF 1-0 Stoke City FC (agg: 2-0)
Jonas put the finishing touch to a fleet-footed counterattack to set his side up for a round of 16 encounter with PSV Eindhoven.

Valencia CF will pursue their UEFA Europa League dream with a round of 16 game against PSV Eindhoven after a 1-0 win eliminated Stoke City FC 2-0 on aggregate.

Jonas's fourth goal in UEFA competition this season in the 24th minute was sufficient for the 2004 UEFA Cup winners and while Stoke's first post-Christmas European football in their long history ended at the first hurdle, they depart with heads held high.

The Brazilian's goal was a crystal-clear demonstration that, at the top level, concentration is almost as vital as talent. Right on the edge of the Valencia area, Diego Arismendi collided with both Ángel Dealbert and Adil Rami, and with Stoke seemingly waiting for a foul to be awarded, Pablo Hernández scampered down the right wing, and the Spaniard's perfect cutback found Jonas alone at the back post to sweep in; top class.

Tony Pulis's gamble to change eight of last week's starting lineup, abandon wingers and play with two up front had plenty of merit, though. Valencia's Daniel Parejo lit the spark with a second-minute free-kick which thumped off the bar but Kenwyne Jones consistently threatened the home goal.

Wilson Palacios cut Valencia's defence apart with a visionary pass in the 19th minute, Jones surged through and while his shot was not struck with finesse, it was heading for the bottom corner until Vicente Guaita made a superb save.

Within three minutes came that Jonas goal, effectively putting the tie beyond Stoke, but imposing striker Jones struck a vicious volley from Cameron Jerome's knockdown and Guaita excelled again.

Parejo topped off his stylish night drawing a wonderful save from Thomas Sørensen in the 69th minute, then producing the pass of the evening nine minutes later, Sørensen again blocking, from Roberto Soldado this time. However, like the first leg, one moment of class had proved sufficient.

Last updated: 25/09/14 6.32CET

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