Champions League - Valencia frustrated in Genk

Tue, 13 Sep 21:33:00 2011

Valencia endured a frustrating opening night in the Champions League after dominating but failing to score in a 0-0 draw at Genk's Cristal Arena.

Sofiane Feghouli (L) of Valencia and Thomas Buffel (R) of Racing Genk fight for the ball during their Champions League Group E. soccer match at the Cristal Arena stadium in Genk September 13, 2011. - 0

Valencia had 22 shots at goal compared to five by the Belgian side, but could not finish off their spirited but technically inferior opponents, who were content to soak up the pressure and play on the break.

While Valencia trudged off the pitch looking dejected, Genk's players milked the moment like they had won the competition as they accepted the adulation of a boisterous home support.

Chelsea lead Group E on three points after their 2-0 win over Bayer Leverkusen with both of these sides on one point.

Leverkusen host Genk on September 28 with Chelsea visiting Valencia on the same evening.

Valencia had only been to Belgium once before in the Champions League having recorded a 2-1 victory over Anderlecht in 2004. How they failed to get a similar result from this one is probably down to their own wastefulness.

Time and time again they found themselves in the home half of the pitch, but time and time again they could not find the net.

When they did open up with any real purpose, they found a combination of good goalkeeping by Laslo Koteles and the woodwork the main obstacle between themselves and three points.

Adil Rami typified the nature of the Spanish side's night when he met a lovely cross by Pablo only to see his agile volley crack back off the bar with Koteles well beaten on 71 minutes.

The Genk keeper had illustrated his pedigree with a fine save from Daniel Parejo on 58 minutes after some probing play by Roberto Soldado, who had scored four goals before this match in La Liga but endured the sort of evening he will probably want to forget.

He was not exactly helped by Pablo Piatti, who cut a dash into the Genk area with some momentum on six minutes only to overhit the cross with Soldado poised for a tap-in.

Genk managed to threaten sporadically with Jelle Vossen forcing visiting keeper Diego Alves to save his swinging shot from distance at the outset of the second period.

Alves had to look lively to swat over an effort by Genk substitute Elianiv Barda on 83 minutes, but a win for Genk would have been akin to daylight robbery on a dank evening in Belgium.


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