Valencia goes down to Bayer on the road
Bayer Leverkusen rallied with two second-half goals in quick succession to beat Valencia 2-1 in their Champions League match on Wednesday.
Andre Schuerrle scored in the 52nd and Sidney Sam got the winner in the 56th as the Bundesliga side bounced back from a poor first half. Jonas had put Valencia ahead in the 24th.
''We wanted to come out fighting in the second half and give everything to turn the match. And we did it,'' Sam said.
Leverkusen's second win in Group E gave it six points. Valencia's first defeat after two draws left it with two points.
Chelsea routed Genk 5-0 to top the group with seven points. Genk has one.
Valencia dominated the first half on a rainy night in Leverkusen and was unlucky not to score more goals. But Leverkusen was a different team after the break.
''The first half-hour was not nice to see,'' Leverkusen's coach Robin Dutt said. ''But we saw at the end of the first half that Valencia is vulnerable when they are under pressure.''
''We wanted to attack more in the second half and look for our chances. We produced a good reaction.''
Striker Roberto Soldado had two early efforts blocked and Jeremy Mathieu had a good shot saved by Bernd Leno as the Spanish side controlled the early action.
A set piece released Pablo Hernandez but he could not quite control the ball in the 16th.
Soldado hit the post in the 20th after a deflected shot landed at his feet.
A mistake by Stefan Reinartz left Soldado free on the left flank and he delivered a low pass for Jonas to slot home from close range in the 24th.
With Valencia firmly in charge, Hernandez crossed but Soldado headed over the crossbar in the 29th.
Leno then saved Leverkusen by first palming away a shot by Jonas and then blocking the rebound effort from Hernandez.
Leverkusen's first dangerous shot came from Schuerrle in the 39th, but Diego Alves tipped the ball over. From the corner Michael Ballack headed hard, Alves blocked the shot and Stefan Kiessling put the rebound wide.
With the roles reversed after the break, Leverkusen leveled the score when Schuerrle slotted home off a pass from Michal Kadlec that Miguel failed to clear.
Four minutes later, Sam collected a long through pass from Michael Ballack, playing his 90th Champions League match, and sent the ball inside the far post.
''It was a match with two different halves. We started very badly, we made a lot of mistakes and we played with fear,'' Ballack said. ''After the break, we attacked them earlier and we know that we can score at home.''
In the 73rd, Leno made a one-handed save to deny Soldado, then kept out a header from Jonas.
Schuerrle could have made it a bigger victory for Leverkusen when he sprinted past two defenders but shot weakly and Alves scooped the ball in the 86th.
Jonas had a late effort stopped by Leno.