With Levante’s goal threat almost nonexistent,he spent most of the match as a spectator. Could do nothing about Kone’s goal, but came up with the goods late on with an immense stop to deny the Ivorian forward a brace.
Some tough defending from the center back today, who was aggressive in confronting the Levante forwards whenever they got within range of his goal, while also dominating aerially. Went close with a header from a corner in the second half.
The fullback was rarely tested in his own half, but was notably unconvincing in two moments – a substandard headed clearance that indirectly led to Levante’s first goal, and losing sight of Kone late on, which almost led to another.
A relatively quiet game for Ruiz, who was content to sweep up what little Levante offered on the break, and provide cover whenever his team needed.
Spent most of his time camped in the opposition half acting as an auxiliary winger. His ability to overlap down the right was impressive, but his end product left a lot to be desired. Had a smart long-range effort saved in the second half.
The two shots he managed on goal were wayward at best, but it mattered little as his value today came from setting up his teammates. Slipped a clever ball into Jonas for the opener, and his driving run and cross from the byline was crucial in the second goal. Laid on the third for Piatti with a delightful low cross, but sadly could not complete the game as he limped off with 22 minutes to go.
Bossed the midfield, using his savvy and experience to run rings around his Levante counterparts, and was always there to lend a hand in defense, with a superb last-ditch tackle on Roger standing out.
Well played from the Argentine, whose passing from deep was a joy to behold. Set numerous Valencia attacks in motion, and grabbed a fortuitous but deserved goal with the last kick of the game when his shot was deflected over Munua for the fourth.
An effective cog in the Valencia offensive machine in the first half, and scored the third on the stroke of halftime with a brave run to get on the end of Pablo’s pass. Took a potentially nasty blow to the knee for his efforts, but was able to soldier on and play well into the second half.
Showed great determination in the build up to the first goal, and provided a decent outlet up front, linking well with his teammates. His poacher’s instincts came to the fore for Valencia’s second has he latched quickly onto a poor clearance to put the ball into the back of the net.
Proved to be a tricky customer on the night, and gave the visitors' defense the slip a few times with his movement in the area, with one such run putting him in a great position to score the opener. Taken off in the second half.
Despite Valencia’s dominance, he was never really taken outside his comfort zone to make a notable save. Could have done better in getting his body under the ball for the opening goal, but was unable to make it past halftime after taking a heavy blow in his ultimately fruitless attempt to stop Piatti from scoring Valencia’s third.
Was made to work hard, especially in the first half as Valencia controlled play around his team’s penalty area. However, he lost sight of the elusive Piatti one too many times.
Try as he might, there were times when the slippery figures of Jonas and Soldado found their way past him. Booked early in the second half for a rough challenge on Pablo.
Put in a few well-timed challenges, and intercepted extremely well on one late Valencia break, but his distribution from the back was poor as the ball was often given straight back to the opposition.
Cleaned up a lot of loose balls from Valencia’s less than stellar end product at times, but there were moments when it looked like he would fall apart from the constant pressure. Improved after the break and made a steady finish to the contest.
Looked lost for the vast majority of the contest as the home side dictated play in the center of the park, and spent most of his time on the pitch off the ball chasing shadows.
Lasted barely 10 minutes on the pitch before pulling up with a knock that he could not recover from, and was replaced by El Zhar.
Like the rest of his midfield teammates, he was given the run around by the hosts time and time again. However, on a rare Levante attack, he showed good awareness to cushion a clearance into the path of Kone for the visitor’s first half goal.
Will want to move on from this game quickly as he was completely overrun in the center of the park by his Valencia counterparts, and was dragged out of position on numerous occasions. Also saw yellow for a tug on Piatti in the first half.
Isolated would be the kind way to describe his experience at the Mestalla today, since his major notable moment was to enter the referee’s book for taking down Alba on an attempted Valencia counter attack.
The Ivorian has precious few chances to break forward and when he did, he was usually marshaled well by the Valencia back four. However, he gave his team a slimmer of hope in the second leg with a brilliant strike to snare a crucial away goal. His pace troubled Valencia more after the break, and he almost grabbed a second late on, but for a superb stop by Alves.
- Bruno Saltor
- Ricardo Costa
Came on for Pablo with about a quarter of the game to go and made an impact, leading the charge on a late counter-attack and setting up Tino Costa for the clinching goal at the death.
Came on with a quarter of an hour to go and was involved in one or two late counterattacks.
- M. Topal
Given seven minutes on the pitch but did not contribute significantly.
Replaced the injured Navas between the posts at half-time, and generally held down the fort. Unfortunate in the concession of the fourth, as a deflection completely wrong-footed him and left him scrambling in vain.
- Del Horno
Came on with 18 minutes to go but barely had a look-in.
N. El Zhar
Played the majority of the match due to Barkero’s early injury but like the rest of his attacking colleagues, found pickings to be extremely slim.