Valencia 1 - Villarreal 0
Cañizares; Curro Torres, Ayala, Marchena (Pellegrino 73'), Garrido;
Sissoko (Vicente 61'), Baraja, Albelda, Xisco; Angulo, Mista (Aimar 78').
The waiting is finally over and we now know who will be representing Spain in the UEFA cup final in two week's time. Valencia's 1-0 win over local rivals Villarreal was enough to give the league leaders a narrow victory and take them through to meet Olympique Marseille in Gothenborg on 19th May. Villarreal are out at the next to last hurdle, but they can at least be proud of their performance in what was their first ever season in European competitions.
Valencia were the better side on the night though, and they pushed forward right from the start, Reina called into action early on with three or four saves in the first five minutes. Then with a quarter of an hour on the clock Norwegian referee Terje Hauge awarded a penalty to the home side when Belletti bundled over Mista, and the striker converted the kick himself.
Needing only an away goal to go ahead the visitor came forward, and Sissoko was lucky not to score in his own net when he headed Roger's free kick down and over the bar. Cañizares had to be on guard after that to stop efforts from José Marí and Roger, and then pulled out a full length save to turn Sonny Anderson's shot for a corner.
But Valencia's defence rallied round after the break, and the introduction of Vicente caused problems for the visiting defence. Xisco went close and Mista somehow managed to put a shot wide from only a couple of yards out after Angulo headed on Vicente's cross. The clock started to run down and Paquito finally realised that time was running out, making a first and only substitution five minutes from the end. But it was too little too late, and it will be Rafa Benítez who will be leading his side out in the final.