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Europa League

AZ Alkmaar 2 - Valencia 1

Alkmaar: Esteban Alvarado; Marcelis, Moisander, Klavan, Poulsen; Maher, Elm, Martens; Gudmundsson, Altidore (Benschop '), Holman. 4-3-3.
Valencia: Diego Alves; Barragán, Ricardo Costa, Dealbert, Mathieu (Piatti 76'); Mehmet Topal, Tino Costa; Pablo Hernández, Feghouli (Jonas 64'), Jordi Alba; Soldado. 4-2-3-1.

1-0. 45. Holmar. First time shot on far post past Diego Alves from Martens corner.
1-1. 51. Topal. Got between defenders to head Ricardo Costa inside near post.
2-1. 79. Martens. Ran in to shoot past keeper after Holman crossed from left wing.

Valencia lost their first leg match against AZ Alkmaar, although an away goal from Mehmet Topal early in the second half gave them hope of turning things around in Mestalla next week. The Ches had never been beaten in Holland, but after two defeats in a row in the league their morale was not particularly high. With less than a minute on the clock Altidore could have put the Dutch league leaders in front had he been able to beat Diego Alves, and although Soldado and Jordi Alba had shots blocked soon afterwards, Holman opened the scoring for the home side on the stroke of half time with a first time volley from a Martens corner. Six minutes after the restart Topal made it all square with a well placed header from Ricardo Costa's cross, and Soldado brought a good save out of Alvarado a few minutes later. But with ten minutes to go Holman cut past his marker down the left wing and crossed in for Martens to beat Alves for a second time.