Classy Raul Is Still The "Real" Deal

"You can't give Raul a metre, if he has a chance he does what he did to us" - Roberto Soldado heaped praise on Raul's quality in front of goal
Valencia's first 60 minutes are going to be forgotten, echoing a story we commonly hear at the top levels of professional football. One side is dominant in possession and chances, dictating the play throughout that time while only generating a slight lead on the scoresheet. On Tuesday in Estadio Mestalla, Valencia, it was 1-0 for the home side, a 17th minute goal from Roberto Soldado who redirected a great cross from Jeremy Mathieu.

In the 64th minute, with Schalke's second or third change of the match, Raul made Valencia pay for their inability to find a second goal. The former Real Madrid attacker, playing his first match in Spain since leaving the Santiago Bernabeu, got on the end of a long ball out of the Schalke end, using his second touch to put a left-footed shot to the far post of Vicente Guaiti for the Germans' equalizer.

It was an unfortunate turn for Guaiti, in for the injured Cesar, who gave a strong performance. The second choice `keeper did well to palm a Peer Kluge header against the cross bar in the first half, keeping Valencia in front. In the second half, Guaita was called to lay-out multiple times in order to keep the score even.

That even score would hold until the final whistle, with Schalke taking a relatively large edge back to Germany. This result means a score-less draw at Veltins-Arena would send Schalke into the quarterfinals.

But the story of the day isn't Schalke's accomplishment but Raul's goal. It was the Spanish attacker's 71st goal in all European club competition, a tally that moves him past Gerd Muller on the competitions' all-time goal scoring list.

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