Genk holds Valencia 0-0 in Champions League

Racing Genk held an attacking Valencia to a 0-0 draw in their

opening Group E game in the UEFA Champions League on Tuesday.

Despite playing away from home, Valencia kept looking for

victory in the knowledge the Belgian champion was the rank outsider

in a group currently led by Chelsea after its 2-0 victory over

Bayer Leverkusen at Stamford Bridge.

Valencia came closest in the 72nd minute when Pablo Hernandez

crossed to Rami and the defender saw his overhead volley hit the

bar. Valencia brought goalkeeper Diego Alves back into the lineup

and was grateful to him in the 84th minute when his spectacular

save denied Jeroen Simaeys.

Yet despite its offensive threat, led by Dani Parejo, Valencia

only had one point to show for its efforts.

The Spanish side looked promising early on 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, Parejo and Piatti fared no better before Genk

started to fight its way back into the game with Daniel Pudil

volleying wide and Simaeys bringing a save out of Alves.

The second half saw Valencia again start brightly with Piatti

shooting over before Soldado saw a cross-shot parried by Koteles in

the 55th minute.

The match was clearly heading towards a goalless stalemate,

though Valencia came agonizingly close to breaking the deadlock

with Rami’s spectacular effort.

The Spanish side will have home advantage in its next Group E

match on Sept 28., when it hosts Chelsea, while Genk travels to

Leverkusen.