Perhaps could have been more assertive to prevent Kiessling from scoring a close range header, but the blame should lay more with his defenders than with him. Otherwise, he was on his game once again, making two brilliant first-half stops to deny Toprak and Schurrle
Was shaky defensively in the latter stages of the second half when Leverkusen took control, letting Ballack get away from him in the build-up for the first goal. However, he came up with the goods on the other end with a headed third from a corner. You could feel the relief in the Mestalla after he scored.
Had real trouble at times dealing with Schurrle when the German attacked down his flank. On the other hand, he did have a few joyful charges down his flank deep into enemy territory. One such foray led to him setting up Soldado for the crucial second goal.
Put in a dependable shift at right back tonight, and sent two telling balls into the danger area that no one on his side could get on the end of.
Was beaten far too easily to allow Kiessling to score from only a few yards out. However, he had a more comfortable game in the second half as Leverkusen’s attacking threat diminished.
Started the game on form, making some dangerous runs behind the Leverkusen backline. However, his head dropped a bit after the Leverkusen goal, and he spent the middle portion of the match in relative obscurity.
Was largely unconvincing in midfield, and his play failed to contribute to anything of real significance. Got caught out of position with regularity, but picked up his game slightly after the midway point of the second half.
After his brace against Getafe on the weekend, one might have expected him to play today with an extra spring in his step. However, there was no sign of his domestic form tonight. The Algerian had an abject game, struggling to conjure up anything in the attacking third and was rightfully hauled off after an hour.
Started the game superbly, keeping Leverkusen scrambling with his incisive passing. However, he was withdrawn with an injury in the 24th minute, and had to hold back tears as his night ended prematurely.
Was effective at holding up the ball, though he could have done with a little more link up play from his midfielders. Sent one good chance harmlessly wide in a forgettable first half, but was a different player after the interval, scoring the crucial second and looking more like the menacing presence up front that we have come to expect.
Sent the Liga side into a dream start with the second-fastest goal in Champions League history, capitalizing on a Leno mistake after just 10.5 seconds. However, he did not contribute much afterwards, and was replaced in the second half.
He may not have been at fault for Valencia’s third goal, and could have done better on the second, but the only thing that anyone will remember from him this game was his suicidal clearance to gift the hosts the opener just after 10.5 seconds.
He was all over the place defensively in the first half, and did not fare much better in the second, getting caught ball-watching too often.
Made one great challenge to halt Valencia on the counter in the second half, and was solid in the air. However, his positioning left a lot to be desired.
Saw what looked like a certain goal denied by Alves after he was left free at the back post from a corner. He was not at his best off the ball though, losing sight of Soldado one too many times in the second half.
His contribution came in flashes, but when it did, it was telling. Tested Alves with a stinging drive in the first half, and had a goal cruelly chalked off for offside when he was clearly on.
Ran down too many blind alleys, and though his pace was often a threat, did not use it at all in an effective manner. Withdrawn late on.
Try as he might, the wing back could not get much going out wide in either half of the pitch.
He was having a solid game in midfield, showcasing his flair with a beautiful backheel to Schurrle. However, it fell apart for him when he was outmuscled by Rami for the third Valencia goal.
Won everything in the air, and was not an easy man to get off the ball. His passing was on point too, though like his teammates, his performance dipped after the second Valencia goal.
The veteran midfielder sported a protective mast tonight, but that did not appear to hinder his performance too much in a solid showing. Set up his side’s first goal for Kiessling with a well-timed run and delicate lofted cutback, and was a danger in midfield in the first half. However, he lacked the same purpose in his play after the interval.
Cut an isolated figure for the first half-hour or so, but got his team back into the game with a headed equalizer. Afterwards, he was his usual tireless self, providing a good outlet and linking well with the midfield. Taken off in the second half.
- 13 Guaita
Given a 15-minute run-out and blazed a late shot wide after some good work by Soldado.
- 2 Bruno Saltor
- 6 Albelda
He did not have the greatest game after replacing Banega early in the first half, but his corner in the 75th minute set up Rami for the third. His set-pieces were largely of a good standard.
Replaced the anonymous Feghouli, and showed some encouraging flashes in his half-hour on the pitch.
- 11 Aduriz