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UEFA Soccer: Champions League Schalke vs. Valencia


UEFA Soccer: Champions League Schalke vs. Valencia Round of 16, second leg, 03/09/2011 at 20:45CET Arena AufSchalke, Gelsenkirchen, Germany. Having earned a fine away draw, FC Schalke 04 will be out to finish the job against Valencia CF, although their last UEFA Champions League knockout tie ended in elimination by Spanish opponents.
The last time FC Schalke 04 played at home in the UEFA Champions League knockout rounds it resulted in a 1-0 defeat by FC Barcelona. As they square up to Valencia CF in the return leg of their round of 16 tie, the hosts will be hoping for a more positive outcome. The German side holds a slight edge after the first leg at Mestalla on 15 February, Raúl González (64) cancelling out Roberto Soldado's 17th-minute opener to earn Schalke a valuable away draw.
In previous meetings, the sides' two previous games in Gelsenkirchen ended in a win apiece. Valencia triumphed 1-0 in the 2007/08 UEFA Champions League group stage with a second-half David Villa goal while ten years previously, in the UEFA Cup quarter-final second leg, Schalke's 2-0 home win sent them through.
Shalke’s only previous knockout experience in the UEFA Champions League came in 2007/08 when they beat FC Porto 4-1 on penalties after both legs ended 1-0 to the home side. They then lost both legs of their quarter-final against Barcelona 1-0.
When Valencia was last at this stage in 2006/07 they beat FC Internazionale Milano on away goals with a 2-2 draw in Italy and a goalless home tie. They then drew 1-1 at Chelsea FC in the quarter-final first leg but lost 2-1 at home.
FC Schalke 04 coach Felix Magath paid tribute to Raúl González, "a genuine goalscorer", after the former Real Madrid CF favourite marked his return to Spain with the equaliser in a 1-1 draw at Valencia CF. It gives them the slenderest of advantages ahead of the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg on 9 March but, Unai Emery admits, for the time being attention switches to domestic duties.
Raúl González had a "positive feeling" after his equalizer earned FC Schalke 04 a 1-1 draw at Mestalla, but told UEFA.com that Valencia CF "can be very dangerous away from home". Shortly after, José Manuel Jurado sent in a low cross that allowed compatriot Raúl to nip in front of Navarro, control with one touch and score left footed with his next. It was a classy moment from a classy player. Only another marvellous save from Guaita, this time from Junmin Hao, saved Valencia from defeat.
After such a close an exciting last match-up, this will be a game to watch as the team to move on to the quarter finals is anyone’s guess after the last match when both teams proved to be formidable opponents with the desire and drive to move forward.