Valencia CF 2-0 LOSC Lille
Jonas provided some much-needed cutting edge for the Spanish club as they got off the mark and left Lille still without a point in Group F.
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Valencia CF won their first three points in this season's UEFA Champions League despite conceding numerous chances to LOSC Lille thanks to an inspired brace of goals from Jonas.
A well-worked first-half opener from the Brazilian forward and a slightly more speculative second with 15 minutes remaining, left LOSC bottom of the group and Valencia nicely placed behind leaders FC Bate Borisov, their matchday three opponents.
What must have been a source of reassurance, at least, to LOSC coach Rudi Garcia was that his players responded to his demands: despite their run of one win in eight matches across all competitions, the French visitors followed Garcia's instruction to "stick to our playing principles". The result was that, despite having much less possession than Mauricio Pellegrino's side in the first half, LOSC might easily have scored twice.
The principal source of threat came from Dimitri Payet, although Valencia's Sofiane Feghouli could have settled home nerves early on when Fernando Gago's pass put him clean through. The midfielder's miss let Lille breath again. Payet caused such havoc in the hosts' defence that Victor Ruiz sliced a clearance to Florent Balmont which the advancing midfielder failed to put on target from point-blank range.
Before the half-hour mark Idrissa Gueye released a cracking pass for the 25-year-old Payet to sprint onto but his shot skewed into the side netting. Though Valencia were controlling the ball, imposing patterns, they were not matching LOSC's ability to make something out of next to nothing. Payet again menaced with a skidding right-foot drive which Vicente Guaita saved gratefully, until a magical combination between Roberto Soldado and Jonas conjured an unheralded breakthrough at the other end.
Gago spotted Jonas dropping deep and the No7, once he turned, instinctively knew where the Valencia captain was. Soldado held possession and released the return pass nicely for Jonas to stab home.
After the break the pattern remained identical. Payet seemed to have time and space where no one else could even breathe and, what's more, he used it well. One shot went on target only for Guaita, keeping Diego Alves on the bench in only his second game in five months, saved. Then the French international fired just over. But the lesson of the UEFA Champions League is always: score or suffer.
After Andrés Guardado and Feghouli had linked for Soldado to head narrowly over, Jonas finished matters. Feghouli, a scorer at the weekend, hustled for possession and fed the Brazilian. Whether he meant to shoot or cross became irrelevant when his 75th-minute effort soared into the net off Mickaël Landreau's fingertips.
A tough night found added misery for LOSC when their captain Mathieu Debuchy was red-carded for a challenge on Guardado.