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Copa del Rey

  • January 19, 2012
  • • 3:30 PM
  • • Estadio de Mestalla, Valencia
  • Referee: José Luis Paradas Romero
  • • Attendance: 39000
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Valencia 4-1 Levante: Jonas, Soldado, Piatti, and Tino Costa hand Los Che dominant Copa win

The home side dominated its local rival and secured a comfortable victory that gives the club one foot in the semifinals and a potential tie with Real Madrid or Barcelona.

Unai Emery can be very pleased with his players as they cruised to a comfortable 4-1 victory over their city rival at Mestalla. Los Che were always in control and Levante will take little from having grabbed a goal ahead of next week's second leg.

After Jonas opened the scoring midway through the first half, Roberto Soldado added a second with 31 minutes played. Levante soon pegged Valencia back with a terrific strike from Arouna Kone but Pablo Piatti's goal before the break killed off the tie.

Valencia assumed total control of possession from the off and pressed extremely high and with great intensity. To add to the visitors frustrations the team continually switched the ball between the wings as it looked to create space for Soldado and Jonas.

The hard work eventually drew rewards as Soldado regained possession in the opposing half, initiating a counter attack. He found Pablo Hernandez who timed his pass perfectly to slip in Jonas as he made a diagonal run into the box. The Brazilian striker squeezed a shot underneath Keylor Navas and found the back of the net.

Valencia doubled the lead just seven minutes later. Pablo provided yet another dangerous cross from the right wing which Javi Venta failed to clear. Soldado was on hand to pounce on the loose ball, slamming an opportunistic volley in from the edge of the six-yard box.

Levante was still yet to settle and had struggled to formulate anything noteworthy in attack, but that did not blunt the striking instinct of Kone.

With eight minutes of the first half remaining the Ivorian took advantage of Pallardo’s loose control and produced a spectacular snapshot from 20 meters that soared into the top left corner.

Valencia was not through and restored the two goal advantage in stoppage time. Pablo played a delightful ball to Piatti at the back post. The Argentine beat Navas to the ball, lifting it into the net but taking a knock for his troubles.

Piatti's goal seemingly changed the dynamic of the game as after a swift Valencia counter attack in the opening minute of the second half, the game settled into a petering rhythm.

The home side tightened up in defense and the game descended into a very scrappy, ill-tempered affair late on. With 10 yellow cards being shown in the space of 10 minutes, the Levante players lost their concentration Valencia almost scored a fourth but Victor Ruiz hit the post with a header from a matter of yards out.

Kone was sent trough on goal with just three minutes remaining and drilled a powerful effort at Diego Alves' near post. The Brazilian reacted well to turn the ball behind and avoid conceding what would have been a potentially disastrous second.

Valencia countered in stoppage time. Tino Costa had space on the edge of the area. His shot took a wicked deflection off of Gustavo Cabral and looped into the net to secure a convincing victory.

Los Che are in the driver's seat ahead of the second leg at Ciutat de Valencia next week. Levante though can still dream of a semifinal tie against Real Madrid or Barcelona but the club will need a minor miracle in the second leg following Costa's strike at the death.

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