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Valencia suffer more Rosenborg woe

Valencia CF 0-2 Rosenborg BK
Steffen Iversen scored in each half as the Norwegian club won in Spain to claim the double over Valencia.

Ronald Koeman's reign at Mestalla began disappointingly as Valencia CF succumbed to a rampant Rosenborg BK to leave their UEFA Champions League challenge in the balance and the Norwegian side dreaming of a first knockout stage appearance since 1996/97.

Famous wins
The visitors – who had overcome the Spanish team 2-0 in Trondheim two weeks before – defended heroically and then broke away twice to score through Steffen Iversen and make it a happy debut in the competition for new coach Trond Henriksen. It was only Rosenborg's second UEFA Champions League away win in 21 outings; before Matchday 3 they had just a single victory from their last 21 games in the tournament.

Adventurous approach
Rosenborg's approach was refreshing. While a draw would have been considered a good result, they were intent on making the most of their possession and pushed forward at every opportunity. It made for an interesting first half with Valencia probing down the flanks, and Joaquín's corners seeming most likely to provide a breakthrough. Twice Iván Helguera got on the end of them, the second time drawing a splendid save from Lars Hirschfeld.

Villa threat
David Villa, back after an ankle injury, added vital sharpness to the Valencia front line, expertly collecting a long pass from Luis Miguel only to shoot hastily wide. Rosenborg countered with pace and showed they had the means to worry Valencia at the back. When Abdou Razack Traoré swung over a cross, Iversen pursued it beyond the far post and struck the upright with his attempted knock-back.

Iversen breakthrough
It was therefore less of a surprise than it might have been when the away side took the lead in the 31st minute. Per Ciljan Skjelbred started the move after another Valencia attack had fizzled out and Marek Sapara carried it on, passing to Iversen who turned to crack a low shot beyond Timo Hildebrand and in off the post. Stung, Valencia rallied with Hirschfeld smothering at Villa's feet but Rosenborg promptly broke with menace again, the unmarked Yssouf Koné heading down and over the bar. On the stroke of half-time, Hildebrand denied the same player with his legs while Hirschfeld was at full stretch to keep out a Villa thunderbolt.

Morientes off
With Valencia committed to attack, Rosenborg were finding ample space when they had the ball and with their confidence at a high level they looked capable of punishing the home team again. Koeman had withdrawn Fernando Morientes at the interval, the striker seemingly affected by an early challenge which left him requiring treatment. Valencia's frustration mounted. There was little fluency to their game now and their fans sensed more disappointment was round the corner.

Two for Iversen
It arrived in the 58th minute when Hildebrand missed Mikael Dorsin's corner, allowing Iversen to nod in his second goal. The final score might have been even worse for Valencia. Iversen and Yssouf Koné were frustrated by Hildebrand and the post respectively in the same second-half move and the latter spurned two golden opportunities – although a famous Rosenborg win was already secured.