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Aimar inspires superb Valencia

Published: Tuesday 17 September 2002, 23.36CET
Valencia CF 2-0 Liverpool FC Pablo Aimar and Rubén Baraja score as the hosts shine.

Match statistics

ValenciaLiverpool

Goals scored2
 
0
Attempts on target7
 
3
Attempts off target6
 
0
Corners8
 
4
Offsides6
 
5
Fouls committed13
 
19
Yellow cards3
 
3
Red cards0
1

Standings

Last updated: 03/10/2013 16:21 CET

Legend:

P: Played   
Pts: Points   
 
Published: Tuesday 17 September 2002, 23.36CET

Aimar inspires superb Valencia

Valencia CF 2-0 Liverpool FC Pablo Aimar and Rubén Baraja score as the hosts shine.

Valencia CF 2-0 Liverpool FC
Valencia CF produced a superb display of attacking football to beat Liverpool FC in their opening UEFA Champions League Group B fixture.

Valencia ambition
Pablo Aimar and Rubén Baraja scored the goals in the first half, but the margin of victory in the Mestalla stadium could have been even higher as the home side signalled their intent of repeating their runs to the final in 1999/00 and 2000/01 against a team reduced to ten men late on.

Diao given tough task
After all the speculation about whether Liverpool would use Michael Owen or Milan Baroš up front, Gérard Houllier instead decided to partner Emile Heskey with El Hadji Diouf. With Stéphane Henchoz injured, midfield player Salif Diao joined Sami Hyypiä in defence, but few backlines could have suppressed the rampant home attack.

Aimar on top form
In particular, Valencia were grateful that Aimar was fully fit after a recent hamstring strain, as the Argentinian playmaker produced a peerless performance. John Carew was given a rare start, but played with the confidence of a regular.

Goalscoring move
The home side were on the attack from the off, and both Diao and Jamie Carragher were called upon in the Liverpool defence in the opening minutes. But, after Baraja and Carew had both gone close, Aimar opened the scoring on 20 minutes, converting after a fine passing move involving David Albelda and Baraja.

Brief respite
This did not stop Valencia moving forward, Vicente Rodríguez having a header saved by Jerzy Dudek. Heskey fashioned a Liverpool chance on the half-hour, shooting against the post from a narrow angle, but it was only a brief respite for the visitors.

Baraja doubles lead
And - after a warning when Aimar shot narrowly wide - the away side were two down seven minutes from the end of the first half when Carew touched the ball to Baraja, who shot home from 20 metres.

Owen injects pace
Liverpool introduced Owen and Bruno Cheyrou at half-time, and the pair injected pace and creativity into the English team's play, Steven Gerrard also getting a grip on the midfield. However, Aimar was still able to force Dudek to produce a fingertip save after a long-range effort four minutes into the second period, and, although Liverpool looked better than in the first period, they fashioned few chances.

Hamann dismissed
Although Valencia had to withdraw the limping Aimar with 19 minutes to go, Liverpool were unable to take advantage. And the away side's chances evaporated altogether when Hamann was dismissed 13 minutes from time, receiving his second booking after a tussle with Aimar's replacement, Mista.

Late dominance
With Hamann gone, Valencia dominated the last minutes of the game, the best chance coming in the final minute when Dudek was forced to save at close range from Carew.

Significant force
But the game had been tied up long before by Valencia, the Spanish champions already looking a significant force in this season's Champions League. Liverpool can take consolation from the fact that this was probably their toughest test of the group, but they will not want to come across another team in the excellent form of Valencia.

Last updated: 18/09/02 14.24CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefachampionsleague/season=2002/matches/round=1636/match=1036433/postmatch/report/index.html#aimar+inspires+superb+valencia

Lineups

valencia

Valencia

liverpool

Liverpool

1
CañizaresSantiago Cañizares (GK) (C)
1
DudekJerzy Dudek (GK)
2
PellegrinoMauricio Pellegrino
Yellow Card66
4
HyypiäSami Hyypiä (C)
4
AyalaRoberto Ayala
8
HeskeyEmile Heskey
6
AlbeldaDavid Albelda
Substitution84
9
DioufEl Hadji Diouf
Substitution46
7
CarewJohn Carew
13
MurphyDanny Murphy
Substitution76
8
BarajaRubén Baraja
Goal38
Yellow Card69
16
HamannDietmar Hamann
Yellow Card22
Red Card77
14
VicenteVicente
17
GerrardSteven Gerrard
15
CarboniAmedeo Carboni
18
John Arne RiiseJohn Arne Riise
19
RufeteFrancisco Rufete
Substitution75
21
DiaoSalif Diao
Substitution46
21
AimarPablo Aimar
Goal20
Substitution71
23
CarragherJamie Carragher
23
Curro TorresCurro Torres
30
TraoréDjimi Traoré
Yellow Card35

Substitutes

13
PalopAndrés Palop (GK)
22
KirklandChris Kirkland (GK)
9
Salva BallestaSalva Ballesta
5
BarošMilan Baroš
Substitution76
10
AnguloMiguel Ángel Angulo
Substitution75
6
BabbelMarkus Babbel
11
SánchezJuan Sánchez
10
OwenMichael Owen
Substitution46
12
MarchenaCarlos Marchena
15
BergerPatrik Berger
20
MistaMista
Substitution71
Yellow Card77
25
BišćanIgor Bišćan
22
De los SantosGonzalo De los Santos
Substitution84
28
CheyrouBruno Cheyrou
Substitution46

Coach

Rafael Benítez (ESP) Gérard Houllier (FRA)

Referee

Herbert Fandel (GER)

Assistant referees

Harry Ehing (GER), Peter Henes (GER)

Fourth official

Thorsten Kinhöfer (GER)

Legend:

  • GoalsGoals
  • Own goalOwn goal
  • PenaltiesPenalties
  • Missed PenaltiesMissed Penalties
  • reds_cardRed Cards
  • yellow_cardsYellow cards
  • yellow_red_cardsYellow/red card
  • SubstitutionSubstitution
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