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.