Stoke: Begovic; Wilkinson, Shawcross, Huth,
Wilson (Shotton 69'); Pennant, Delap, Palacios (Whitehead 52'), Etherington,
Walters, Crouch (Jerome 68'). 4-4-2.
Valencia: Guaita; Bruno (Miguel 80'), Rami, Dealbert, Mathieu; Mehmet Topal, Tino Costa; Feghouli, Jonas, Piatti (Bernat 88'); Aduríz (Soldado 78'). 4-2-3-1.
0-1. 36. Topal. Picked up ball well outside area and beat Begovic with long shot.
Valencia have the edge over Stoke City going in to the second leg of their Europa League tie after a 0-1 victory in the Britannia stadium. Having just finished a gruelling cup run, and with fixtures piling up, Unai Emery rested some of his key players. Walters came close to putting the premier league side ahead in the first minute, but Begovic had to save from Jonas a few minutes later, and Mathieu and Piatti both had shots blocked before Topal picked up the ball in midfield and struck a screamer of a shot past the keeper from well outside of the area. A physical Stoke's main tactics appeared to be long punts in to the area trying to take advantage of the height of Crouch, who went close with an overhead kick just before half time, but Valencia could have increased their lead in the second half, in particular with a shot against the post by Feghouli. Everything will be decided though in Mestalla in a week's time.