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Marcelino happy with Valencia’s 2-0 win at Celtic

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Valencia coach Marcelino Garcia Toral is pleased to take home such a strong advantage following their 2-0 first leg win at Celtic in the Europa League.

Los Che travelled to Celtic Park on Thursday night and coasted to a comfortable victory to take control of their Round of 32 tie.

After beating the offside trap, Ruben Sobrino set-up Denis Cheryshev for Valencia’s opening goal in the 42nd-minute.

The Russian winger returned the favour in the second half by providing a perfect cross for Sobrino to score Valencia’s second of the game for a deserved win against a below-par Celtic side.

“We had a great game. From a defensive point of view, we played at a very high level, which is the product of the huge commitment from our players,” said Marcelino on the club website.

“We stretched the opposition gradually and the first goal was an important moment. The second goal at the start of the second half provides us with a very favourable situation.

“The two strikers helped a lot when we didn’t have the ball, and ran their hearts out. They helped us to counterattack and always provided an outlet for the passes. With two strikers out, we had to use Cheryshev and Sobrino, who performed very well.

“They are two versatile players who will be good for us with so many games. Overall, we played really well, were fluid, defended well and attacked in an organised way.”

Marcelino added: “I would have taken a 0-2 result if it were offered to me before the game. The 2-2 result in the Copa del Rey, I wouldn’t have taken, as it’s just a small advantage.

“This tie isn’t decided yet, but it’s well set up. We would have to make a big mistake to not go through.”

Meanwhile, Celtic manager Brendon Rodgers lamented his side’s costly errors with the Scottish champions now needing something of a miracle to overturn their 2-0 deficit on aggregate at the Mestalla in next Thursday’s second leg.

“I thought we started the game very well, but Valencia are a team that wait on your mistakes,” said the former Liverpool coach.

“Unfortunately for us, we made too many mistakes. When you do that against good teams it kills your momentum, puts you on the back foot.

“Concentration is so important, you can get away with it domestically at times, but at this level, against good players, you don’t concentrate and you bring pressure onto yourself. It ended up being a disappointing night for us.

“You have to have that belief [for the second leg]. We’ve got good players, we might have one or two back as well next week.

“We need to defend and concentrate well, especially in key moments of the game. If we can get the first goal, it could set us up for a really good second leg.”

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND – FEBRUARY 14: Emilio Izaguirre of Celtic looks on after Celtic concede their second goal during the UEFA Europa League Round of 32 First Leg match between Celtic and Valencia at Celtic Park on February 14, 2019 in Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)