AZ´s European campaign ends in Valencia

Published on 05 april 12, 00:00
VALENCIA- AZ´s European campaign came to an end as they slumped to a 4-0 defeat against Valencia at Estadio Mestalla in the second leg of the Europa League quarter-finals. AZ, who had recorded a 2-1 home win in the first leg, will put the result behind them and focus on the domestic league.

Seven seasons ago, AZ claimed a 2-1 win over Villarreal and booked a place in the semi-finals following a 1-1 draw at home in the second leg. At the time, there was an electric atmosphere in the packed stadium in Villareal, and the 35000 crowd at Estado Mestalla also vociferously cheered their favourite team on Thursday night, but this time the outcome was less successful for AZ.


AZ had again survived the first fifteen minutes in a European game before Adil Rami struck twice in as many minutes. The defender, left unmarked, first headed home from a corner in the 15th minute, and doubled Valencia’s lead two minutes. Roberto Soldado flicked on another corner and Rami popped up at the far post to sweep in a volley: 2-0.


Adam Maher threatened with a fine volley, but other than that AZ had little to offer. Esteban made a save to prevent Soldado from making it three before the break. The home side did take a three-goal lead in the second half. Jonas fired on target but Dirk Marcellis blocked his shot on the line. The ball fell to Soldado and Jordi Alba somehow tapped home his cross from the right after 56 minutes: 3-0. AZ failed to reduce the deficit as Maarten Martens and substitute Charlison Benschop only sent weak efforts straight at the keeper.


Ten minutes before the final whistle substitute Pablo Hernández netted the fourth goal of the night for the number 3 of the Spanish league, as AZ´s European campaign came to an end. AZ will put the result behind them and focus on the domestic league. Their next assignment sees them host FC Twente on Wednesday, April 11.

Verbeek: ‘Never had a chance’

“We never had a chance to pull off a good result”, admitted Gertjan Verbeek at the post-match conference. “We knew we had to be at our best to get a result but we failed to meet expectations. We gave our all but Valencia simply proved too good for us. They are a quality side and would perform well in the Champions League. We only created two half chances,  which is obviously not enough. I must accept we deserved our 4-0 defeat against a very strong side.”


Valencia – AZ 4-0 (2-0)

Valencia line-up: Diego Alves; Antonio Barragán, Adil Rami, Ricardo Costa, Jérémy Mathieu, Sofiane Feghouli (76. Pablo Hernández), Mehmet Topal, Tino Costa (84. Hedwiges Maduro), Jordi Alba; Jonas, (68. Daniel Parejo), Roberto Soldado.

AZ line-up: Esteban; Dirk Marcellis, Niklas Moisander, Nick Viergever, Simon Poulsen; Adam Maher, Rasmus Elm, Maarten Martens, Roy Beerens (79. Erik Falkenburg), Jozy Altidore (68. Charlison Benschop), Brett Holman (46. Johann Berg Gudmundsson).

Goals: 15. Rami 1-0, 17. Rami 2-0, 56. Alba 3-0, 80. Hernández 4-0.

Booked: T. Costa, Barragán (Valencia).

Referee: Pavel Královec (Czech Republic)

Attendance: 35.000