Goals: Jonas, Schurrle, Sam
Assists: Soldado, Kadlec
Attempts on target: 7-7
Attempts off target: 3-4
The match started in a calm tempo with Valencia CF being the more dominant side and slowly increasing the tempo and attacks on Bayer Leverkusen's goal.
The first chance would come in the 10th minute with Pablo putting a dangerous cross in the Germans penalty area that just misses Soldado, who still manages to get to the ball and passes to Jonas, but his shot was blocked.
Just few minutes later Soldado with a nice dribble after a Banega pass, but he was fouled and brought down, but the referee waved play on. Just a minute later Valencia CF did get a free kick after I believe Mathieu was fouled. Banega took it and passed the ball to Jonas who in turn passed in to the lonely Pablo in front of goal, but Pablo was too slow to reach and the ball was kicked out of his legs and the danger was cleared.
17th minute Pablo once again founds himself in a dangerous position after a Soldado cross from the right, but Pablo couldn't quite reach the ball. 3 minutes later the ball comes to Soldado after a rebound from a shot from I think it was Jonas, but Soldado managed to miss an empty goal from like 5-6 meters and hit the post.
Luckilly enough Valencia CF would find the back of the net just minutes later after a forced error by a Bayer defender who was under pressure from Mathieu gifted the ball to Soldado who then crossed in to the lonely Jonas in front of goal and this one put the ball in the net, no mistakes.
31st minute Soldado starts a counter attack by stealing a ball from the Bayer midfield, Soldado goes close to the penalty area and passed the ball to Jonas and he shoots, but the goalkeeper punches the ball, only for the rebound to come to Pablo, but he shoots straight in the goalkeeper.
This is the point I start worrying that Bayer would punish us for so many missed chances and I was almost right when in the 38th minute Diego Alves makes two brilliant saves in the span of a minute. First save was from a brilliant and powerful lob and the second time a reflex save after a shot from just few meters after a corner kick.
Bayer Leverkusen pushed hard, but luckily we managed to hold in the first hald in the closing several minutes.
The second half started with Bayer really pushing forward and putting Valencia under pressure as they searched for a goal. And their pressure would pay off in the 52nd minute as Bayer Leverkusen scores a goal with a cross from the left that wasn't cleared properly by Miguel and no one standing in Schurle's way he was able to easily score.
Just 3 minutes later Bayer would score again this time it was Sam from an counter attack. He was basically clear on goal on the left side and slotted the ball in the far right corner of the net with no chance for Diago to save it.
After this Valencia CF started playing again and started winning back possession slowly and gained some initiative, but things were moving slowly so Emery made few attacking substitutions to try and put some urgency into our attack.
It wasn't until the 72nd minute when Valencia had a decent chance after Banega released Soldado on goal with a great through pass, but Soldado once again failed to score.
Then in the 88th minute Jonas had a try, but his shot went straight into the hands of the goalkeeper.Valencia couldn't muster anything in the closing minutes and it was actually Bayer that had the last chance.
In retrospect I don't know what went wrong, but I've noticed several times this season the whole team looses focus and ability for like 10-15 minutes from the 50th to the 60-6th minute. We've seen it against Chelsea, Genk, Sevilla, etc...
Bayer Leverkusen (2): Leno; Castro, Toprak, Reinartz (Friedrich, 46), Kadlec; Rolfes, Bender; Ballack; Sam (Schwaab, 90), Schürrle; Kiessling (Derdiyok, 80).
Valencia CF (1): Diego Alves; Miguel, Rami, Victor Ruiz, Alba (Canales, 65); Albelda (Aduriz, 82), Banega, Pablo Hernández (Reguli, 65), Matthieu; Soldado y Jonas,
Goals: 0-1: min.26, Jonas, 1-1: min 52, Schürrle, 2-1: min 56, Sam.
Diego 7.5 (MotM) - Once again man of the match. Had two brilliant saves and few more as well, basically keeping the team into the game so many times.
Miguel 6 - Had an okay match, should have cleared better for the first goal, but it was an owkward thing as that is where Albelda should have been, but he was covering the right flank in the first place, so there was no man where Miguel cleared. Still should take most of the responsibility for that goal.
Rami 6.5 - Best of the defenders, had several interventions and always in good positions.
Ruiz 6 - Did well generally, but exposed for the second goal and couldn't catch up to Sam.
Alba 6 - Not a particularly attacking display, but the only time he went attacking the goal from his flank came.
Pablo 6 - Very active in most of the first half and found himself in good scoring opportunities, but missed some good chances that should have been goals. Went missing in the second half though.
Albelda 5.5 - Made few tackles to stop Bayer from mounting attacks, but didn't provide any passing and generally went out of the way and didn't want to recieve the ball.
Banega 6 - So so performance. When given space he was very dangerous, but when under pressure made quite few mistakes and gave the ball away cheaply. Still provided the only passing outlay in the middle.
Mathieu 6 - Decent display as he was the reason Valencia scored after he forced the Bayer defender to error and give the ball to Soldado. Not a big contribution otherwise.
Jonas 6.5 - Was quite the attacking threat tonight, scored a goal and had few shots on goal and tries.
Soldado 6.5 - Provided the assist to Jonas for the goal and made few good passes towards Pablo and Jonas that weren't converted. Found himself in good positions, but what is the point when he missed them all and a sitter from just 5 meters.
Canales 5 - Didn't do anything of note. Few touches and runs, but that's about it.
Feghuoli 5.5 - More involved than Canales, but failed to do anything of note.
Aduriz N/A - Not enough time.