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Boost for belief

FCB lay down early marker against Valencia

Since July, the coaches and players have unanimously insisted that defeat in last season's Champions League final on home soil has been consigned to the dustbin of history, but there remained a few nagging doubts. Some four months on, any lingering concerns were banished once and for all in Wednesday's 2-1 win over Valencia, which could easily have ended with a much bigger margin of victory.

“We dominated the match and absolutely deserved to win," summarised Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, as FCB chalked up their first three points in Group F. However, the chairman continued, there had been “periods when we lost concentration." The game seemed over after goals from Bastian Schweinsteiger on 38 minutes and Toni Kroos a quarter hour from time, but the closing stages were unnecessarily frantic after former Werder Bremen striker Nelson Valdez pulled one back for the visitors in the first minute of stoppage time.