Valencia open with Genk stalemate

Valencia, who started last season’s group stages with a thumping
4-0 away win over Bursaspor, came the closest to netting a winner
when Adil Rami’s overhead kick struck the crossbar midway through
the second half. The result leaves the two teams in joint second
place in the standings, two points behind Chelsea who were 2-0 home
winners over Bayer Leverkusen tonight. Valencia started their
domestic campaign with back-to-back victories and they looked
promising early on tonight with Rami heading over before Roberto
Soldado, who has struck four times in La Liga already this season,
also missed the target with a header. Summer signing Pablo Piatti
then tried his luck with an effort that was straight at home
goalkeeper Laszlo Koteles. Mehmet Topal, Dani Parejo and Piatti
also had efforts without success before Belgian champions Genk
started to fight their way back into the game with Daniel Pudil
volleying wide and Jeroen Simaeys bringing a save out of visiting
goalkeeper Diego Alves. Jelle Vossen also drew a parry out of Alves
just before the teams went off for half-time. The second half saw
Valencia again start brightly with Piatti shooting over before
Soldado, who had netted 16 times in Los Che’s previous 11 matches,
saw a cross-shot parried by Koteles in the 55th minute. The match
looked to be heading towards a goalless stalemate but Valencia came
within inches of breaking the deadlock in the 72nd minute when
Pablo Hernandez’s cross was met by a spectacular overhead kick from
Rami, but the France international was unlucky to see his effort
strike the woodwork. Valencia would not come any closer than that
in the final stages of the match, but Genk might have snatched the
points for themselves in the 83rd minute. Nadson was almost the
Genk hero but his shot was tipped over by Alves as the match
finished level.