Valencia CF put on a show of style and power to dismiss Rangers FC on Matchday 4 but it was high-quality finishing, notably from Roberto Soldado, which set their 3-0 win apart from much of their domestic and European season so far.
Unai Emery's side have struggled to turn elegant football into firm winning margins, but with the visit of the Scottish champions they chose the vital fourth game in UEFA Champions League Group C to cut loose.
The 25-year-old Soldado told UEFA.com: "This wasn't just a good game for me, the whole team performed really well. A victory like this has been coming for some time because for a couple of weeks we have put in good performances which have not had the goals they merited.
We really went for it from the opening minute and things came off for us because of our attitude and our hunger."
However, 3-0 remained a modest scoreline given the excitement on the field. Visiting goalkeeper Allan McGregor played exceptionally well, notably saving from Juan Mata, Aritz Aduriz and also Soldado. Add to that Steven Naismith's two fine efforts that cannoned back off the woodwork and Mestalla might easily have seen seven or eight goals.
Soldado tidied up a scruffy corner kick with a left foot strike for 1-0 and executed a superb wall pass with Mata to make it 2-0 in the second half before substitute Tino Costa sealed it all off with a daring third in added time.
McGregor told UEFA.com: "I am not the kind of player who can have a good game but lose and still be happy. I would rather have the worst game of my life and the team win. The first goal was a letdown because it took an unfortunate bounce off Madjid Bougherra's back and when I got a touch to Soldado's shot all I managed to do was push it past our defender on the line."
Now Valencia sit above Rangers on both points and head-to-head record so their destiny with two matches remaining is in their hands. Soldado added: "We were totally focused and the importance of winning this game was such that I think it inspired us. Hopefully I'll go on a scoring run because I was doing everything except finishing before. We are delighted that qualification is back in our hands. We have earned a vital victory and done it in style."
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