The official website for European football

Italian strikers inspire Valencia

Published: Thursday 25 November 2004, 0.04CET
RSC Anderlecht 1-2 Valencia CF Bernardo Corradi and Marco Di Vaio score to keep Valencia's hopes alive.
Published: Thursday 25 November 2004, 0.04CET

Italian strikers inspire Valencia

RSC Anderlecht 1-2 Valencia CF Bernardo Corradi and Marco Di Vaio score to keep Valencia's hopes alive.

By David Minton at Constant Vanden Stock

Goals from Italian strike duo Bernardo Corradi and Marco Di Vaio gave Valencia CF a UEFA Champions League Group G victory at RSC Anderlecht that keeps them in with a chance of reaching the first knockout round.

Bremen decider
The visitors needed all three points to stay in the competition, and were relying on Werder Bremen not defeating FC Internazionale Milano. A 1-1 draw in Germany means that Valencia will progress if they defeat Bremen at the Mestalla on 7 December by a better score than 2-1. Anderlecht, meanwhile, are the only side in the competition without a point and cannot even claim a UEFA Cup berth, despite an impressive display from Christian Wilhelmsson, who scored their equaliser.

Aimar out
Valencia's task was complicated by a worsening injury crisis. Playmaker Pablo Aimar was a late addition to the Spanish champions' casualty list, allowing Di Vaio the opportunity to end his ten-hour wait for a goal. Defender Carlos Marchena, meanwhile, damaged his hamstring in training on the eve of the match and was replaced by David Navarro. Rubén Baraja and Francisco Rufete were also restored by Claudio Ranieri, his team shorn of eight full internationals.

Aruna headed
Although Valencia's European form had an effect on the away supporters' turnout, the home fans were out in force and nearly had something to celebrate inside two minutes when Aruna Dindane headed off target after a Wilhelmsson cross.

Valencia ahead
They were made to pay for that miss when Valencia took a 19th-minute lead against the run of play. Curro Torres found himself in acres of space on the right after springing the offside trap. He sent in a low cross which was deftly flicked in at the near post by Corradi, beating Anderlecht goalkeeper Daniel Zitka, back in the side at the expense of Tristan Peersman.

Wilhelmsson reacts
Five minutes later the home side were level. Marco Caneira fouled Aruna in the Valencia box, and although Pär Zetterberg's penalty was saved by Santiago Cañizares, who got down well to his right, Wilhelmsson reacted the fastest and struck the rebound into the roof of the net.

Zitka save
Seconds after the equaliser, lively Swedish international Wilhelmsson, who began on the right but switched across the forward line to good effect, tested Cañizares with a powerful drive. At the other end Zitka dealt comfortably with a Di Vaio header and Mohamed Sissoko was wildly off target with a hopeful shot from distance.

Di Vaio strikes
Di Vaio's barren time in front of goal came to an end three minutes into the second half in scintillating fashion. Corradi lofted the ball over the Anderlecht rearguard to his fellow Italian, who controlled the ball on his chest and then slammed a volley past Zitka. It was the striker's first goal since scoring against Real Betis Balompié on 2 October.

Real test
Anderlecht's players faced a test of their desire to avoid becoming the first Belgian side in Champions League history to finish the group stage without a point. Wilhelmsson continued to provide their major threat and another dangerous low cross lacked only a finish from Aruna.

Time up
Home coach Hugo Broos introduced an extra forward in Mbo Mpenza, recovered from a calf strain, in place of central defender Glen De Boeck as the home side chased the game in vain. Time ran out, and Valencia are guaranteed at least a campaign in the UEFA Cup - which they won last season - in the new year.

Last updated: 24/11/04 23.38CET

Related information

Team profiles
Related match
  • SSI Err

http://www.uefa.com/uefachampionsleague/season=0/matches/round=1968/match=1077221/postmatch/report/index.html#italian+strikers+inspire+valencia

UEFA.com features

Sheridan taking the heat at APOEL
  • Sheridan taking the heat at APOEL
  • McGregor making his mark back at Celtic
  • Heat of the moment: Commentators' finest hours
  • Pick of the matchday two photos
  • Spain game evokes happy memories for Sweden
  • Košice and Liberec: Tale of the dugouts
  • Atlético's Filipe Luís to fill Cole's boots at Chelsea
  • Pick of the matchday one photos
  • England and Sweden set to renew rivalry
  • Brazil success just the start for Germany
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.