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Valencia 4-1 Lille: Kondogbia scores a screamer in comeback win

By James Willoughby
Valencia scored four second-half goals to beat Lille 4-1

Valencia, November 6: A stunning 30-yard strike from Geoffrey Kondogbia highlighted Valencia's 4-1 come-from-behind Champions League Group H victory against Lille on Wednesday.

Victor Osimhen gave Lille a first-half lead but a 66th-minute penalty from Valencia captain Dani Parejo completely changed the complexion of the match.

Parejo's panenka finish was followed by an unfortunate Adama Soumaoro own goal and Kondogbia then whipped the Mestalla crowd into a frenzy with an incredible effort from long distance.

Ferran Torres soon made it three goals in the last 10 minutes for the hosts, the substitute's well-taken finish capping an outstanding second-half performance from Albert Celades' men.

Osimhen's opener was thanks to the sharp closing down of Benjamin Andre, who blocked Parejo's pass and watched the ricochet fall invitingly for the goalscorer.

The Lille striker still had plenty to do but he was too quick for both Gabriel Paulista and Ezequiel Garay before composing himself and shooting through the legs of Valencia goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen.

Valencia gradually worked their way back into the contest, and only a pair of terrific saves from Mike Maignan denied Rodrigo Moreno an equaliser just before the break.

Yusuf Yazici had a great chance to double Lille's lead in the 53rd minute, but shot straight at Cillessen after good work down the left from Osimhen, and it was a miss the visitors would come to regret.

Valencia were awarded a spot-kick after Jose Fonte handled Rodrigo's cross and Parejo showed nerves of steel to level in audacious fashion.

Pressing hard for a winner, Valencia took the lead in the 82nd minute when Jose Gaya's cross was turned in, via the inside of the post, by Soumaoro.

And that opened the floodgates, Kondogbia producing a sublime effort before Torres wrapped up the win with a smart finish on the angle.

What does it mean? A three-horse race for progression

Valencia's win - and Chelsea's 4-4 draw with Ajax - means all three sides have seven points after four Group H games.

An exciting race for the two last-16 spots is now on the cards, while Lille remain at the foot of the group with just one point.

A moment of pure joy

Kondogbia had not scored since February but this strike was worth the wait, the midfielder's outrageous effort sure to live long in the memory.

Lille's defenders backed off Kondogbia, almost encouraging him to shoot, and the end result was something of beauty.

A stop-start season continues

Denis Cheryshev scored Valencia's goal in a 1-1 draw at Lille last month but he has been not been able to nail down a regular starting berth for Valencia this season. He has been suspended, as well, and lasted just 30 minutes before succumbing to injury.

What's next?

Valencia will be after just their third home league win of the season on Saturday when they take on Granada. Lille are at home, too, hosting Metz.

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Story first published: Wednesday, November 6, 2019, 3:50 [IST]
Other articles published on Nov 6, 2019
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