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Valencia Seal Uefa Cup Success
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Old 19 May 2004, 07:48 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Valencia Seal Uefa Cup Success

Valencia claimed their first European title in nearly a quarter of a century as they lifted the Uefa Cup following a 2-0 win over Marseille in The Ullevi Stadium in Gothenburg.

Mista and Vicente were the heroes for Valencia as they claimed their first continental honour since lifting the Cup Winners' Cup in 1980.

The game in Sweden turned on the stroke of half time when, after an evenly matched opening 44 minutes, Fabien Barthez brought down Mista in the area and received a red card, while also conceding a penalty which Vicente duly dispatched.

Once in front Valencia never looked like relinquishing their lead and doubled their advantage on the hour when Mista brilliantly finished after being put through by Vicente.

Valencia had imposed themselves on the game early on with David Albelda and Ruben Baraja taking control in the centre of midfield.

Albelda had the first chance of the game after just seven minutes when he picked up the ball on the edge of the area after Mista's shot was blocked and unleashed an effort at goal, but Barthez hurled himself to his left to deflect the ball wide.

Steve Marlet then had a very good chance for l'OM as he was picked out brilliantly by Carmel Meriem but the on-loan Fulham striker could only head over from 10 yards.

Marseille began to emerge into the game and Meriem blasted wide as he began to influence the French side's play.

Habib Beye then had a great chance, but he could only head wide from six yards.

Even though the two sides were very evenly matched, the game's energy ebbed away inexplicably - until just one minute from time.

Curro Torres picked up on a poor Marseille defensive clearance and he swung in a wonderful cross into the area where Mista took the ball down brilliantly and found himself clear just eight yards from goal. He then tired to take on Barthez, who took him down with a crude two footed challenge and left referee Pierluigi Collina with little option but to send him off.

Jeremy Gavanon was introduced at the expense of the influential Meriem and Vicente stepped up to dispatch the ball past Barthez's deputy.

Marseille were still shell shocked when they came out for the second half as Valencia started off much the stronger, with Vicente testing Gavanon twice from long range.

Dider Drogba had his first sight of goal with a dipping 30-yard volley, but not long after the final was all but won with a classic counter-attack from the Spanish champions.

Baraja broke up a Marseille attack and immediately fed Vicente down the right who skipped on with the ball before picking out Mista unmarked in the area and the giant forward finished wonderfully with the outside of his left foot to the joy of the travelling Che faithful.

The second goal was a cruel blow for Marseille, who did not let their heads drop and Marlet, Drogba and Sylvain N'Diaye all went close.

Valencia should have added to their tally in the closing stages, but Mista and Albela failed to find the target when well placed.

Marseille will be left wondering what might have been, but Valencia's class told and they proved worthy winners.

Credit Sky Sports
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Old 19 May 2004, 09:10 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Due to the fact that the game started at the ungodly time of 4:15 am I fell asleep during it and only woke up in time to see the second goal so maybe Ill enjoy the replay tommorrow
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Old 23 May 2004, 01:47 PM   #3 (permalink)
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What the hell was all of that and why in God's name did I even read it??

Late.
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