Schalke dump out Valencia
Farfan brace helps defeat Los Che
By Graeme Bailey - Follow me on Twitter @graemebailey. Last Updated: 10/03/11 8:16am
Schalke booked their place in the last eight of the Champions League as they beat Valencia 3-1 in Germany to claim a 4-2 aggregate win.
The Spaniards had started well in the Veltins Arena, taking the lead through Ricardo Costa's header.
But Peruvian Jefferson Farfan added the first of two goals to level before half-time when he fired home a free-kick.
Schalke took control in the second-half and went ahead on the night and in the tie when Swiss striker Mario Gavranovic fired him via both posts.
The win was sealed in injury time as Schalke caught Valencia on the break and Farfan chipped the ball home to seal their place in the quarter-finals.
Schalke came into the game in disappointing form, despite their 1-1 draw in Spain in the first leg, and with question marks over the long-term future of coach Felix Magath, and the Gelsenkirchen outfit's fans must have feared things would get even worse as Valencia started well.
In the eighth minute Los Che defender Jeremy Mathieu saw a shot deflected just wide, and then nine minutes later the visitors got themselves in front.
Mehmet Topal did well down the left before firing in a fiercely-struck cross that Costa did well to head past Manuel Neuer at his near post.
Schalke striker Raul had a chance to cancel that goal out almost immediately but he headed wide, and soon after that Valencia almost made it 2-0 but Christoph Metzelder did well to block Aritz Aduriz's effort.
The Royal Blues looked set to go into the break still trailing but, with five minutes to go, they were handed a chance to draw level when they won a free kick just outside the area.
It was a dangerous position, and Farfan made the most of it as he curled a superb free-kick into the top corner past Vicente Guaita, who got a fingertip to the ball but could not keep it out.
That was a huge boost for Schalke going into the interval, and it got better at the start of the second half as they took the lead.
Guaita could only push a cross down to Farfan inside the area, and although the Valencia goalkeeper managed to save the Schalke goalscorer's resulting shot, the ball fell perfectly for Gavranovic, whose effort hit the inside of the near post, rolled across the line and hit the far post as well before going in.
That goal set Schalke on their way to the last eight, but they had to survive some nervy moments before the end.
Within four minutes of Gavranovic's goal Aduriz had two great chances to score, but he fired his first into the side netting with Neuer out of position and then, after being put clean through, he was denied by a brilliant save by the Schalke goalkeeper and captain.
Tino Costa then missed another good opening for Valencia while Neuer was called into action again to save a Juan Mata shot.
Valencia could not force an equaliser though, and Schalke twice came close to killing the game off late on when Gavranovic hit the woodwork on separate occasions.
The first saw his thunderous drive deflected onto the near post by Guaita, and he then saw a brilliant 45-yard lob hit the crossbar with the Valencia keeper struggling.Schalke were celebrating a third goal late on though as Farfan broke away before dinking the ball over Guaita to settle the contest.
|FC Schalke 04||Team Statistics||Valencia|
|1||1st Half Goals||1|
|6||Shots on Target||4|
|7||Shots off Target||5|
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