Champions League: Valencia top Group D

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src=' ' class='caption'> Valencia clinched first place in Group D of the Champions League on Wednesday with a 2-0 win over Olympiakos.

Updated: February 25, 2007 11:35 IST
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Valencia, Spain:

Valencia clinched first place in Group D of the Champions League on Wednesday with a 2-0 win over Olympiakos. Miguel Angel Angulo sent a rising shot from inside the area past diving goalkeeper Antonis Nikopolidis in the 45th minute, and Fernando Morientes added the second for his fifth Champions League goal in the 46th. Valencia has 13 points from five matches, while winless Olympiakos is last with two. Shakhtar Donetsk is third in the group with five points after beating AS Roma 1-0, leaving the Italian team in second place with seven. "The most important thing is that we now have two months to recover and rest before the knockout round of games begins," Valencia coach Quique Sanchez Flores said. "It was a good win for the team to raise the morale." Valencia came into the match without a win in four straight league matches, including a 3-0 loss to Sevilla on Saturday. Rivaldo gave the visitors a chance in the fourth minute when his angled shot forced goalkeeper Santiago Canizares into a diving save. The Brazilian forward had Canizares diving again to stop a curling free kick from 15 meters (yards) outside the area in the 22nd. Nikopolidis denied Morientes in the 28th with a diving block before Angulo scored the opening goal. Morientes opened the second half by heading in a cross from Joaquin Sanchez inside the area for his 32nd Champions League goal in 80 matches. David Silva and Joaquin had chances saved by Nikopolidis in the second half. Valencia, the 2000 and 2001 Champions League finalists, had seven players missing. It could be missing eight for its Spanish league match against Real Madrid on Sunday after striker David Villa came off in the 21st with a leg injury. Olympiakos still hasn't won away since the competition became known as the Champions League in 1992. The Greek team must beat Shakhtar at home to finish third in the group and clinch a place in the UEFA Cup. "It's one game, either you take it or you don't take it," Olympiakos coach Trond Sollied said. "I don't think the players are afraid to go for it." (AP)

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