CITY 2 VALENCIA 2
UEFA Cup 1st Round 1st Leg
13th September 1972
City Mellor, Marsh
Valencia Valdez, Adorno
Ref Hans Weyland
City Corrigan, Jeffries, Donachie, Doyle, Booth, Oakes, Mellor, Bell, Marsh, Towers, Lee – used sub Healey
FROM THE PRESS BOX
MANCHESTER CITY LEFT A LOT TO DO IN SPAIN
A few fickle moments by Manchester, a cluster of intelligently shaped thrusts by Valencia, catching their opponents stretched wide, and what, initially, had looked like a comfortable outing for City in last night’s UEFA Cup first. round tie at Maine Road ended finely balanced. There was probably some comfort amid Manchester’s frustration in that they showed much better understanding than in recent league matches; for all their forward movement and often calculated football they have left themselves a lot to do in Spain in two weeks time.
Yet Spanish carelessness gave Manchester a flying start. Melendez gathered a harmless lob to his chest and, confronted by Mellor elected. to roll the ball across the face of the goal: he and the ball were beyond the far post when Mellor caught up with them, stretched out a foot to gain possession and tapped the ball into the empty net. All praise to the winger for his persistence, but it was a remarkable lapse of judgment by the goalkeeper.
City prospered from this unexpected uplift. They challenged for the ball with Doyle and Towers pushing forward and Marsh in particular, with Mellor alongside him, stretching Valencia with skillful footwork.
The flow was interrupted only by Valdez’s swift busts up the middle; there should have been warning enough for Manchester as, three times, the little winger reached through balls pushed wide of defenders spread thinly as Manchester pressed forward. The fourth tirne he found a gap; Booth and Corrigan dithered about who should clear a harmless situation, Valdez stretched a leg between them and the ball was in the net. It was hesitation properly punished.
Indeed, it was a hard, punishing match and there was another blow for City 12 minutes into the second half as Valdez and Sergio opened the way for Adorno to head a second goal.
Marsh, who strove hard to give point to City’s attack, balanced the match on the hour and in the assault which followed he, Towers, Doyle, Bell and Lee all took aim without reward. By then, though, Claramunt and his colleagues had their eyes on the return encounter.
TOM GERMAN WRITING IN THE TIMES 14TH SEPTEMBER 1972