Soldado turns Valencia fire on United

Buoyed by scoring twice in a 6-1 defeat of Bursaspor, on-song forward Roberto Soldado said Valencia CF will go to Old Trafford "to win and clinch the group" on Matchday 6.

Roberto Soldado is aiming for a victory at Old Trafford
Roberto Soldado is aiming for a victory at Old Trafford ©Getty Images

Roberto Soldado believes Valencia CF's immense performance in thrashing Bursaspor 6-1 to equal their record UEFA competition victory indicates that they are ready to top UEFA Champions League Group C – even if that will require another historic win at Old Trafford on Matchday 6.

The striker's double against the Turkish champions leaves the now five-goal Soldado in exalted company, just behind Samuel Eto'o, Mario Gomez and Lionel Messi as the 2010/11 group stage's leading scorers. However arresting his personal form, though, he insists it is the team spirit inspired by coach Unai Emery that can fire Valencia towards a notable triumph at Manchester United FC on 7 December.

"We are an ambitious group," former Getafe CF player Soldado told UEFA.com. "We will go to Old Trafford to win and clinch the group. That won't be easy but we possess a winning mentality which will be fundamental in Manchester. Performing so well against Bursaspor was a real team triumph. Team spirit is the key to Valencia. Perhaps people doubt us because we have been a little inconsistent in the league, but we will banish those doubts."

On Matchday 2 at home to the 2008 Champions League winners, both Valencia and particularly Soldado looked nervous in front of goal. That allowed Sir Alex Ferguson's side to secure a 1-0 victory, the legacy of which is Manchester United's three-point advantage in the section. Now, thanks to the immense difference in the teams' subsequent scoring patterns, any away win at Old Trafford would put Valencia through in first position.

Juan Mata, Aritz Aduriz, Joaquín and Alejandro Domínguez were also on target at Mestalla on Wednesday, yet it was summer signing Soldado's clever movement and punishing finishes – for his fourth and fifth strikes in five Group C games – which defined an impressive night for Valencia. The result rubber-stamped their qualification alongside United.

"I'm in that striker's moment when everything is going in, especially in the Champions League," the 25-year-old added. "In my job it is vital to be clinical in front of goal. It is vital for morale and hopefully my scoring run will continue for the benefit of the team."

Bursaspor's tired, but not overwhelmed, midfielder Gustav Svensson conceded that there were plenty of lessons to learn from the campaign, which had a late highlight when substitute Pablo Batalla notched their first Group C goal. Remarkably, it was Bursaspor's first away goal in 36 years of UEFA competition.

"We have to be better in defence because we have allowed our opponents to score too easily, after which it's hard to play good football," he told UEFA.com. "We had early chances and really wanted to score that historic goal and show we can get points – even in Valencia. But when the penalty went against us we defended poorly and the game got away from us. Now the way to sign off is to beat Rangers which is really important for us and our fans."

Top