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Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Champions League, Valencia 0-0 Inter Milan

Valencia draw with Inter sees them into last eight
Valencia progressed to the quarter-finals of the Champions League after a 0-0 draw here Tuesday with Inter Milan saw them home 2-2 on aggregate.

Valencia, which stretched their unbeaten European home record to nine matches, had its two away goals from the first leg draw at the San Siro to thank for ensuring progression into the last eight of European football and premier competition.

The tie was marred after the final whistle when a mass brawl broke out between rival players, with members of each of the benches joining the melee which appeared to be triggered by blows exchanged by Valencia's Carlos Marchena and Nicolas Burdisso of Inter Milan. Security officers were forced to intervene to restore order.

Despite the scoreline the game itself at the Stadio Mestalla was by no means a dull affair despite Inter missing hamstrung Brazilian striker Adriano and dynamic French midfielder Patrick Vieira. The opening 10 minutes were end-to-end, with both sides keen to attack, and indicative of a pulsating match throughout.

Zlatan Ibrahmovic tested Santiago Canizares in the eighth minute, but the goalkeeper made a comfortable save from Zlatan's 25-yard strike. A minute later, Valencia striker David Villa fumbled a shot from a delicate David Silva through ball, and Fernando Morientes and follow-up was parried away by the covering Marco Materazzi.

Julio Cesar was forced into action in the Inter goal in the 12th minute, clearing a low diagonal 20-yard shot by Baraja. Inter Milan, with fiery Swede Ibrahmovic partnered up front by Argentinian veteran Hernan Crespo, came closest to an opener with a quarter of an hour to play in the cracking first-half.

Maicon whipped cross was headed into the middle of the area by Stankovic at the back post but Raul Albiol hooked clear to deny Crespo a near-range attempt.

On the stroke of half-time, Villa was denied a scoring chance from a Morientes cross by a neat backheeled clearance by Colombian defender Ivan Cordoba.

Valencia's Villa saw a header deflected away by Olivier Dacourt at the start of the second period, and Cesar was also in action to save an Emiliano Moretti header.

Inter Milan failed, however, to pull back any goals to leave Valencia booking their ticket into the last eight.

Valencia: Canizares, Miguel, Ayala, Albiol, Moretti, Angulo (Joaquin 77), Baraja (Hugo Viana 36), Marchena, Silva, Morientes (Vicente 67), Villa.
Subs Not Used: Butelle, Del Horno, Navarro, Curro Torres.

Booked: Canizares, Angulo.

Inter Milan: Julio Cesar, Maicon, Cordoba, Materazzi, Maxwell (Grosso 75), Zanetti, Burdisso, Dacourt (Figo 64), Stankovic, Crespo (Cruz 58), Ibrahimovic.
Subs Not Used: Toldo, Solari, Samuel, Gonzalez.

Booked: Ibrahimovic, Materazzi, Cordoba, Maicon.

Valencia and Inter Milan fight Video: