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Levante 0-3 Valencia (1-7 Agg): Aduriz and Piatti double clinch straightforward win and book Copa del Rey semi-final meeting with Barcelona
Holding a comfortable 4-1 lead, the visitors managed to bury the hosts with two goals in five minutes midway through the first half, setting up a meeting with Pep Guardiola's men
By Roger Gonzalez
Valencia cruised into the last four of the Copa del Rey on Thursday with a dominant 3-0 victory over Levante in their quarter-final second-leg at Ciutat de Valencia, winning the tie 7-1 on aggregate.
Goals by Aritz Aduriz and Pablo Piatti in the first half put the result out of reach of the hosts, before the Argentina international scored again five minutes from time, setting up a date with Barcelona in the semi-final.
|Bet:||Returns:||Levante £26.00||Draw £34.00||Rayo Vallecano £28.00|
|Bet:||Returns:||Levante £26.20||Draw £31.00||Rayo Vallecano £28.00|
|Bet:||Returns:||Levante £24.00||Draw £33.00||Rayo Vallecano £27.50|
|Bet:||Returns:||Levante £25.00||Draw £33.00||Rayo Vallecano £27.50|
|Bet:||Returns:||Levante £25.00||Draw £32.50||Rayo Vallecano £28.00|
Needing a significant victory to advance, the home side could do little against Los Che, despite having a few decent chances. The visitors used a starting XI with only three regulars, resting the majority of their stars but made quick work of their neighbours, using space on the wings and quality forward passes to terrorise in attack.
With most of the possession, Valencia were able to go on the counterattack several times and made their rivals pay twice in five minute-spell.In the 25th minute, Piatti ran onto a ball on the right before advancing towards goal, only to pull back at the bye-line, finding Aduriz open with no defenders marking him at the front post. The former Mallorca man only needed one touch, finishing into the net with a powerful effort to put his team in front.
Piatti was awarded for his quality assist with a goal of his own shortly after, as Juan Bernat sent the Argentine through on the right. The midfielder raced towards goal diagonally before finishing calmly into the left corner to double the score.
The rest of the first half passed with few chances as Valencia went into the break with the result all but secured.
In the second half, things did not improve for Levante, as desperate long-range shots and poor precision plagued any hope at a comeback. More damage was done 20 minutes to go as Oscar Serrano was shown his second yellow card, and headed for an early bath.
The Europa League contenders made it 3-0 when Piatti sent in a cross from the left in the 85th minute, which Aduriz headed on goal, but it was saved by Gustavo Munua, who could not hold onto it. Piatti ran from the wing and finished confidently for his second strike as his side cemented their spot in the next round.
With the victory, Valencia advance to the semi-finals, where they will host Barcelona next Wednesday, with the second leg the following week.
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