Valencia came from behind against Benfica to claim a 3-1 win and the Emirates Cup.
With Arsenal slumping to a 1-0 defeat later in day to Monaco, Valencia collected the trophy on goals scored courtesy of yesterday's 2-2 draw with the French side. Benfica clearly have work to do after being drubbed 5-1 by Arsenal on Saturday.
An early goal from Derley gave Benfica some confidence after their poor display against Arsenal in their opening match. He calmly slotted home past Yoel Rodriguez as the Valencia defence was caught out of position and panicking.
Valencia were dominant throughout the first half, but could not convert their possession into goals. Jose Gaya and Andres Guardado both had long-distance efforts, with Pablo Piatti hitting the post and Paco Alcacer thwarted by Artur from close range.
Benfica defended well in the opening 45 minutes, and made excellent use of the counter-attack, with Franco Jara going close by blasting against the crossbar.
Yet as soon as Valencia pulled a goal back, through Gaya after a pinpoint pass from Guardado, Benfica fell apart.
Goalkeeper Artur - so resolute in the first half after conceding five against Arsenal - found himself embarrassed. He saved Alcacer's initial shot on 54 minutes but could not hold it, allowing Piatti to power home into the roof of the net; and six minutes later he sealed his team’s fate by palming home a rather weak effort from Guardado.
No wonder, perhaps, that he found himself replaced by 36-year-old Paulo Lopes, who has only ever made two competitive starts for the team, soon afterwards.
2’ GOAL! Well, that's a turn-up, Derley left unmarked in the box and he calmly slots home past Yoel Rodriguez.
10’ CLOSE! Piatti hits the post and Artur is grateful to snaffle the rebound.
26’ ALMOST! Nice idea - as Benfica pack the box, the free kick is played back to the unmarked Piatti, who hits it right at Artur.
39’ UNLUCKY! Big hit from Jara, but it's against the bar, and bounces back into play!
49’ GOAL! Gaya and Valencia both deserve that. Great ball in from Guardado to Gayo on the left side of the box, embarrassing Artur by nutmegging him.
54’ GOAL! And Valencia take the lead, with Piatti fairly blasting the roof out of the net after Artur saves Alcacar's initial shot.
60’ GOAL! Oh, no, Artur. No, no, no. Guardado hits it right-footed from the middle after a a surging run - the goalkeeper gets his hands to it and palms it over his head into the net.
Benfica’s shocking performances over the weekend. They did much better today in the first half, but as soon as Valencia equalised, they crumbled. It was as if all confidence had leeched out of them, and it was personified in the fistful of errors made by the hapless Artur.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Pablo Piatti (Valencia). Creative and attacking throughout, he was impressive as Valencia clawed their way back from that early deficit.
Valencia: Yoel 7 (Jaume 81), Barragán 8, Vezo 7, Otamendi 7, Gaya 8, Parejo 7 (Rodrigo 46, 7), Guardado 8 (Rober 69), Feghouli 8 (Fuego 46, 7), Piatti 8 (Rodrigo de Paul 66), Carles Gil 7 (Gomes 46, 7), Alcacer 8 (Ramirez 81).
Benfica: Artur 3 (Lopes 71), Cancelo 6 (Felipe 46, John 72), Sidnei 5, Lindelof 5 (Cesar 63), Benito 5, Almeida 5, Teixeira 6, Bebe 6 (Silva 72), Jara 6 (Talisca 63), Candeias 6 (Salvio 63), Derley 6.
- Sports & Recreation
- Pablo Piatti
- Andres Guardado