Valencia's first 60 minutes are going to be forgotten, echoing a story we commonly hear at the top levels of professional football. One side is dominant in possession and chances, dictating the play throughout that time while only generating a slight lead on the scoresheet. On Tuesday in Spain, it was 1-0, a 17th minute goal from Roberto Soldado, redirected a great cross from Jeremy Mathieu.
In the 64th minute, with Schalke's second or third change of the match, Raúl made Valencia play for their inability to find a second goal. The former Real Madrid attacker, playing his first match in Spain since leaving the Santiago Bernabeu, got on the end of a long ball out of the Schalke end, using his second touch to put a left-footed shot to the far post of Vicente Guaiti for the Germans' equalizer.
It was an unfortunate turn for Guaiti, in for the injured César, who gave a strong performance. The second choice `keeper did well to palm a Peer Kluge header against the cross bar in the first half, keeping Valencia in front. In the second half, Guaita was called to lay-out multiple times in order to keep the score even.
That even score would hold until the final whistle, with Schalke taking a relatively large edge back to Germany. The score draw means a 0-0 at Veltins-Arena would send Schalke into the quarterfinals.
But the story of the day isn't Schalke's accomplishment but Raúl's goal. It was the Spanish attacker's 69th goal in European competition, a tally that moves him even with Gerd Müller on the competitions' all-time goal scoring list.