Liga completes European sweep

All four Spanish Champions League teams through to knockout stage

Valencia’s Ever Banega battles with (l to r) Javi Martínez, Dante and Holger Badstuber. / F. HERNÁNDEZ (AP)

All four Spanish Champions League participants sealed their passage to the knockout stages of this season’s tournament during midweek action across Europe. Perhaps the most valiant effort to achieve this goal was made by Valencia, which snuffed out the potent attacking force of Bayern Munich at Mestalla despite playing with 10 men for an hour after Antonio Barragán was deservedly dismissed for a wild lunge on David Alaba.

Nevertheless, Valencia proved that old footballing maxim that sides sometimes play better with a man fewer. Mauricio Pellegrino’s team defended doggedly, taming Frank Ribéry, Claudio Pizarro and Thomas Müller, who were constantly sought out by the probing of Toni Kroos. Ricardo Costa had an especially good game and every Valencia tackle was cheered to the rafters by a packed house appreciative of their players’ determination. The home side occasionally threatened on the break and was rewarded when Sofiane Feghouli skipped through the opposition defense and hit a deflected shot past Manuel Neuer.

Such was the Valencia’s resistance at the back that Bayern coach Jupp Heynckes was forced to play his hand in the second half and throw on a new strike force of Mario Gómez, Xherdan Shaqiri and Mario Mandzucic. But it was the intervention of Feghouli again that leveled the affair, Müller’s goalkeeper-bound strike being deflected past Vicente Guaita by the Frenchman’s attempted block.

No matter. Valencia is through to the knockout stages and can still top the group if it betters Bayern’s result against BATE Borisov in its final group match away at French club Lille.

Barcelona also secured the group leadership with a no-frills 3-0 win at Spartak Moscow. The azulgrana can now field the kids for its final group game at home to Benfica — which will not please Glasgow Celtic, which is level on points with the Portuguese club and hosts Spartak in Scotland.

Málaga has also ensured it will roll into the knockout phase as group winner — ahead of AC Milan — following a 2-2 tie a little north of Barcelona’s destination, against Zenit St Petersburg. The big-spending Russians, who raided Portugal’s top division for Hulk and Alex Witsel in the summer, have failed to make an impact in the competition and will have to content themselves with the Europa League, provided Anderlecht’s result against Málaga is bettered when Zenit visits the San Siro.

It is quite the coup for Manuel Pellegrini’s side, which has suffered a touch domestically as a result of its European exertions. “I am delighted for the players who were given the opportunity to play for guaranteeing top spot in the group and for keeping our squad more or less rested,” the Chilean said. “I don’t know if you can say we are going through a bad spell, but we have to look for more points in La Liga between now and December.”

Real Madrid completed the quartet of Spanish challengers for old big ears with a 1-1 tie at Manchester City, which was sufficient to secure second place in Group D behind the frankly terrifying Borussia Dortmund. Bayern president Franz Beckenbauer said he saw no reason why the German outfit cannot win the title and on the evidence of its 4-1 destruction of Ajax, he could well be right.

Para poder comentar debes estar registrado en Eskup y haber iniciado sesión

Darse de alta ¿Por qué darse de alta?

Otras noticias

El Gordo


2º Premio


3º Premio


4º Premio

  • 07617
  • -----

5º Premio

  • 46984
  • 32306
  • 98538
  • 74012
  • -----
  • -----
  • -----
  • -----

Comprueba tu número

Buscador de números tomados a oído.




Últimas noticias

Ver todo el día

Un quinto viajaba en tren

El número 46984 se ha vendido íntegramente en la estación de trenes de Atocha

Muere Ángel González García, historiador y crítico de arte

Premio Nacional de Ensayo y especialista en los siglos XIX y XX

Detenido un grupo itinerante que robaba joyerías y de bancos

La banda se desplazaba por varios puntos de la Unión Europea, lo que dificultó su arresto

Susana Díaz: “Para mí, este Gobierno no tiene fecha de caducidad"

La presidenta de la Junta reclama "madurez" y "lealtad" a IU, porque Andalucía necesita estabilidad


US and Cuba to start talks to normalize relations

Announcement from White House comes after news that US contractor Alan Gross has been freed by Havana

“Isolation has not worked,” says Obama in TV address

US and Cuban presidents take to airwaves to make simultaneous statements on the way forward for relations

Colombia’s FARC guerrillas declare unilateral and indefinite ceasefire

Government must decide whether to do the same or risk ending truce

Lo más visto en...

» Top 50

Webs de PRISA

cerrar ventana