Salzburg 1 -Valencia 0
The ‘Red bulls’ found their wings and were “helped by the pitch” which “caused all of the problems” for Valencia. Well, according to AS anyway.
The Spanish tabloids predictably claim that Valencia were severely handicapped by the artificial surface in Salzburg as the players struggled to cope with the pace of the ball and irregular bounce.
The more ‘serious’ press attribute Valencia’s less than perfect start to their Champions league campaign to the brilliance of the Salzburg goalkeeper and an efficient opposition that has been well disciplined by the combined instruction of Matthaus and Trapattoni.
An inspired performance from Salzburg keeper Ochs and Pitak’s 72nd minute header were the real difference between the two sides and the silence from the Valencia camp suggests that the pitch was less of a problem for the players than the ‘sports’ press would have us believe.
Valencia remain confident that they will overcome Salzburg at the Mestalla in a fortnight’s time where David Villa is certain to feature longer than his 30 minute cameo last night. Del Horno should also be for the return leg.
Hamburg 0 -Osasuna 0
Osasuna, meanwhile made a satisfactory start to the season with a 0-0 draw at Hamburg.
Making their Champions league debut the Pamplona side were resolute and disciplined in defence whilst keeper Ricardo made several key saves. Osasuna coach Cuco Ziganda showed that there is life after Aguirre and there are signs that the club can build upon last season’s success.