FC Spartak Moskva 0-3 Valencia CF
Valencia CF produced another of their familiarly clinical UEFA Champions League performances to ease past FC Spartak Moskva, the Russian club's 13th game in the competition without victory.
Spartak, who lost 2-0 at FC Basel on Matchday One, were again without captain Yegor Titov - ruled out for the remainder of the season - and defender Dmytro Parfionov. Coach Oleg Romantsev, on the bench despite his recent illness, used Igor Mitreski as sweeper.
Angulo celebrates selection
Spanish champions Valencia made only one change from their impressive 2-0 win at home to Liverpool FC last week, starting with Miguel Angulo in place of Francisco Rufete. And the switch paid off when Angulo put Valencia ahead with the first chance of the game. Pablo Aimar rose to chest a high ball into the area, and Angulo was alert to lift the ball over the diving Spartak goalkeeper, Stanislav Cherchessov.
However, despite producing some flowing football, Valencia were not able to conjure up another clear-cut chance, and on 20 minutes Spartak, spearheaded by the hard-running Aleksandr Danishevski, began to put the visitors under pressure. The lively Rubén Baraja had to turn defender to rob Vladimir Beschastnykh in the box, and on the half-hour Maxym Kalynychenko's snap shot was fumbled by Santiago Cañizares, although the Valencia No1 recovered to collect.
Aimar goes close
After this spell on the backfoot, Valencia had the better of the rest of the half but their best chance was put into the sidenetting by Aimar after Baraja had rounded the veteran Cherchessov, following a move begun by the pair on the halfway line.
Home side attack
Spartak introduced Vasili Baranov in attack after the break, and looked for a while the more likely side to score. Aimar did have a penalty appeal turned down four minutes into the half, but Cañizares was not long afterwards forced to make two saves in a minute from Danishevski and Maxym Kalynychenko. However, Danishevski was soon substituted and Valencia never again looked seriously threatened, their defence marshalled well by Curro Torres and Roberto Ayala.
The introduction of Mista just before the hour further inspired the visitors, who were attacking mainly on the break, but with more purpose than their increasingly frustrated hosts. Baranov did have a close-range effort on 66 minutes blocked by Cañizares after he fumbled a Kebe cross, but that proved Spartak's last opportunity to level.
Tellingly, the second goal arrived moments after a Spartak corner as Valencia quickly turned defence into attack. Rufete, on as a substitute, chased a ball down the right wing, cut in and crossed to Mista, who lifted the ball over Cherchessov in similar fashion to Angulo's opener.
Sánchez gets third
Another substitute, Juan Sánchez, got the third five minutes from the end. Cherchessov, who had previously been reliable in goal, let a Jerry Tchuisse backpass run under his foot, and was lucky to see it hit the post. However, Aimar was alert to run in and steal the ball, and his cross found Sánchez, who tapped into an empty net to seal a convincing victory
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