Valencia vs. BATE Borisov: Final score 4-2, Los Che survive slight scare

Manuel Queimadelos Alonso

BATE Borisov briefly made things interesting at the Mestalla, but Valencia ultimately proved too much for the upstart Belorussians in what turned out to be the Sofiane Feghouli show. The Algerian international scored the key third and fourth goals for the hosts in what ended up being a 4-2 victory for Los Che.

It didn't look like it should have been close. Valencia dispated BATE 3-0 in the reverse fixture three weeks ago, and with them playing at home there was every expectation that the Spanish side would put out an even more impressive win. It looked like they were going to manage to stroll to three points after a disastrous sixty-second spell for the visitors, which saw them first let Jonas onto a bouncing ball into the penalty area (he blasted his shot past Andrey Gorbunov, of course) and then give away a penalty.

Artyom Radkov was perhaps unlucky to have conceded it -- he clearly fouled the onrushing Andres Guardado, but his challenge occurred on the very edge of the box, and it wasn't particularly clear whether it should have been a penalty or a free kick. Regardless, the ball ended up on the spot, and that left it for Roberto Soldado, who'd scored a hattrick in Belarus, to put Valencia up 2-0. One perfect penalty later, and he'd done just that.

After the break, things got no better for BATE. A peach of a pass from Fernando Gago found Feghouli in the box, and he finished calmly past Gorbunov to extend the hosts' lead to three goals. Even BATE's reply, a curling free kick from Renan Bressnan that somehow squeezed past everyone and fell into the bottom corner to make it 3-1, didn't feel like it meant much.

Then things got interesting with seven minutes to go. Vitali Rodiovski played Dmitri Mozolevski in on Vicente Guita's goal, and the substitute made no mistake in reducing the deficit to a solitary goal. Come back on? Feghouli put an end to that line of questioning after picking up a neat pass from Ever Banega in the box and finishing calmly to wrap up the win.

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