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Nuno revels in Valencia´s Champions League qualification

Nuno praised the entire club after Valencia emerged victorious from their UEFA Champions League play-off tie, despite Tuesday’s second-leg defeat.

Monaco triumphed 2-1 at Stade Louis II thanks to goals from Andrea Raggi and Uwa Echiejile following Alvaro Negredo’s opener but Valencia still progressed to the group stage as 4-3 victors on aggregate.

Valencia’s qualification ensured Spain became the first country to have five teams in the Champions League group stage in a single season and Nuno was understandably pleased post-match.

“Today is the realisation of the work done by everybody at the club,” Nuno said via UEFA.com.

“Today we are in the Champions League; yesterday we weren’t. Decisions will be taken in the next few days regarding new players.

“I also want to congratulate Monaco, who were very tough opponents. Two Champions League teams were competing tonight and I wish them the best in the [UEFA] Europa League.”

Last season’s quarter-finalists Monaco went into the match trailing 3-1 after the opening leg and their qualification hopes were dealt a blow early, when Negredo chipped the visitors into a fourth-minute lead.

Monaco, however, hit back through Raggi nine minutes later before Echiejile put the French hosts ahead on the night with 15 minutes remaining.

“We conceded an early goal which affected our rhythm, but we had a great second half. We were close – we only needed one more goal,” said coach Leonardo Jardim.

“We tried to put Valencia under pressure in the second half, but we couldn’t quite make it. I’m happy with my players, who gave their all.”

Tue 25 Aug, 2015
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