Lightning-quick goal leads Valencia to first win
Updated: 2011-11-02 10:50
Valencia's Jonas (L) celebrates after scoring a goal against Bayer Leverkusen during their Champions League Group E soccer match at Mestalla stadium in Valencia Nov 1, 2011. [Photo/Agencies]
Jonas pounced on a defensive error to grab his lightning-quick goal but the Germans recovered their composure and Stefan Kiessling headed them level in the 31st minute.
Roberto Soldado put Valencia back on course for their first group win this season, flicking in a Jeremy Mathieu cross in the 65th minute, and Adil Rami nodded the third at a corner in the 75th.
From the opening kickoff Leverkusen passed the ball all the way back to keeper Bernd Leno but he scuffed his low clearance straight to Jonas and the striker tucked his shot just inside the post.
The effort was just two seconds short of the quickest Champions League goal scored by Dutchman Roy Makaay for Bayern Munich against Real Madrid in 2007.
Valencia had their tails up until playmaker Ever Banega was forced off with an injury in the 24th minute and the Germans rallied.
Michael Ballack crossed for Kiessling to nod the equaliser as Diego Alves was proving the busier of the two keepers.
Valencia regained the lead though when Spain striker Soldado flicked a shot past Leno with the outside of his boot and France defender Rami made sure of the points.
Valencia now have five points from four matches, one behind Leverkusen and three adrift of leaders Chelsea who drew 1-1 at bottom club Racing Genk (two points).
Valencia's Roberto Soldado (C) is congratulated by teammates Jonas (L) and Jeremy Mathieu after scoring a goal against Bayer Leverkusen during their Champions League Group E soccer match at Mestalla stadium in Valencia Nov 1, 2011. [Photo/Agencies]