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UEFA Champions League

  • October 2, 2012
  • • 19:45
  • • Estadio de Mestalla, Valencia
  • Referee: G. Rocchi
  • • Attendance: 28517

Valencia 2-0 Lille: Jonas double sees off fragile French

Valencia 2-0 Lille: Jonas double sees off fragile French

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Mauricio Pellegrino's well-organised side secured all three points and their first win of the group stages courtesy of goals in each half from their Brazilian midfielder

Two goals from Jonas either side of half-time helped Valencia ease to a 2-0 victory over Lille in the two side's Champions League Group F encounter at Mestalla this evening.

The home side forged the first opportunity of note after a tepid opening, Sofiane Feghouli latching onto a divine Fernando Gago through-ball seven minutes in. The Algerian lacked the composure to convert the chance however, firing wide with only Mickael Landreau to beat.

As the match started to shift into gear Valencia's midfield began to take hold of the game, with Fernando Gago and Jonas in particular shining for the home side.

Despite Gago's probing passes it was Lille that fashioned the next chance of note, a weak challenge from Valencia centre-back Victor Ruiz pushing the ball straight into the path of Florent Lamont on the edge of the penalty area. His shot from 18 yards was wayward though, drifting the wrong side of Vicente Guaita's right-hand post.

Valencia made the visitors rue that miss by taking the lead shortly after through Jonas. The Brazilian gave the home side the lead on 38 minutes with a confident side-footed finish from 12 yards after he had played a neat one-two with Roberto Soldado on the edge of the Lille box.

The French side had an opportunity to equalise before the break, but were again wasteful. Dimitri Payet was the guilty man on this occasion, slicing an effort into the side netting when one-on-one with Guaita after racing on to a fine pass from Idrissa Gueye inside his own half.

Soldado should have increased Valencia's lead on the hour mark after some exquisite build-up play from Andres Guardado and Feghouli. The former drove forward with the ball from the halfway line before slipping a neat pass to Feghouli, who did brilliantly to dig out a cross from the left-hand side of the area. Soldado appeared to be expecting a low cross though, and after adjusting to meet the cross could only head an effort over Landreau's crossbar.

Jonas then added his and Valencia's second of the night in fortuitous circumstances after 75 minutes. The midfielder dribbled down the right before lifting a hopeful cross into the area that caught Landreau slightly off his line, and clipped the top of the bar before nestling in the back of the net.

The home side looked to run down the clock in the final 10 minutes of the match, introducing Dani Parejo in midfield, and affording the goalscorer Jonas a standing ovation from the Valencia fans at Mestalla.

Any chance Lille had of getting anything from the game were deflated in the 86th minute when their captain Mathieu Debuchy was shown his marching orders by the referee for his second bookable offence of the match. After picking up a yellow card at the end of the first half for a rash challenge on Aly Cissokho, he repeated the trick late in the second half on Dani Parejo, and the referee duly sent him off.