Monday, July 24, 2017

The best player was the one to miss – Valverde

SoccerNews in UEFA Europa League 15 Apr 2016

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Athletic Bilbao coach Ernesto Valverde lamented Benat’s penalty shoot-out miss against Sevilla which cost the side a spot in the semi-finals of the Europa League.

Athletic battled from 2-1 down after the first leg of their quarter-final, sending the return fixture into extra time on Thursday thanks to goals from Aritz Aduriz and Raul Garcia.

Neither side managed to find the back of the net in the added 30 minutes, and penalties were to decide who made it to the last four. 

But a costly miss from Benat saw Kevin Gameiro dispatch the winning penalty for defending champions Sevilla, denying Athletic a semi-final place.

“We are all feeling this because we have lost this game despite making a great contest,” Valverde said. 

“As the game went on we started believing more and more. We did things well. 

“We thought the third goal was going to come. But we know we turned the tie around, and for that I will go home happy.

“It just had to be that the best player [Benat] across the two legs was the one to miss the penalty.”

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