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2004: Baraja brings joy to Valencia

2004: Baraja brings joy to Valencia
Valencia celebrate winning the 2004 UEFA Super Cup ©Getty Images

2004: Baraja brings joy to Valencia

FC Porto 1-2 Valencia CF
(Quaresma 78; Baraja 33, Di Vaio 67)

Both FC Porto and Valencia CF had new coaches on the bench for the 2004 UEFA Super Cup final and Claudio Ranieri was soon looking comfortable in his new surroundings as the Spanish champions made off with the first piece of silverware of the new European season.

Ranieri had replaced Rafael Benítez at the helm of the UEFA Cup winners following their triumph in the final against Olympique de Marseille, but he admitted he owed a debt of gratitude to his predecessor after Valencia had secured a 2-1 victory. "I have received a great team from Rafa Benítez," he said. "I'm lucky to have a team that can play with its eyes shut."

Ranieri had introduced new Italian signings Bernardo Corradi and Marco di Vaio, but it was Valencia talisman Rubén Baraja, Valencia's driving force the previous season, who again proved their catalyst here.

On 32 minutes he opened the scoring with a powerful header, meeting Curro Torres's cross firmly from close to the penalty spot and sending it flying past the right arm of Vitor Baía.

Valencia's second goal came midway through the second half. Vicente Rodríguez was the architect with a superb delivery to the far post where Di Vaio's header directed the ball in off the woodwork. Valencia had discovered their fluency, and only the crossbar denied Baraja a third goal from another headed opportunity.

Porto were back in the UEFA Super Cup for the second year in succession, looking to make amends for their 1-0 defeat by Milan in 2003. The UEFA Champions League winners now had Spaniard Victor Fernández at the helm, but were in a period of transition following the departures of several key players during the summer.

The fight that had seem them to victory over AS Monaco FC the previous May, however, had not deserted them. After Maniche had sent a free header over the bar, Ricardo Quaresma reduced the deficit with 12 minutes to play. It was a fabulous drive from 25 metres, but not enough to prevent a second successive Super Cup defeat for Porto.

http://www.uefa.com/uefasupercup/history/season=2004/index.html#2004+baraja+brings+valencia

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