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Valencia coach admits “important win” may not have been “deserved”

Barcelona v Villarreal CF - Copa del Rey Semi-Final: First Leg
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Valencia manager Marcelino Garcia Toral has conceded that Real Sociedad may have been the better of the two sides in their 2-1 victory on Sunday

Valencia headed into Sunday’s La Liga game against Sociedad looking to keep up the pressure on third placed Real Madrid and to consolidate their healthy seven point lead over Sevilla in the battle for the final Champions League spot.

Yet it was Sociedad who emerged as the stronger side for large durations of the game. But despite having 65% possession of the ball throughout the game, they did not manage to create many opportunities for themselves and they were ultimately punished as a consequence.

Valencia’s Santi Mina opened the score on the 34th minute of the game, before Sociedad finally found the back if the net through Mikel Oyarzabal after the break. Mina then scored the match winner in the 68th minute with Sociedad, despite putting the home under some immense pressure, were unable to respond.

“We played well in the first half, we were weaker in the second, and we got an important victory at this stage of the season, perhaps it wasn’t deserved. We were 1-0 up, everything under control, and suddenly we made a bad mistake and they levelled the game. From then on we got anxious, nervous, but fortunately they also made a mistake and we got the winner. The best thing about this game, without doubt, was the result”. said Toral, according to the club website.

“The equaliser was different to other previous mistakes, it was a pass inside and we made an error. We all practice, but then it’s harder to compete. The only way is to keep working and show improvement on the field. If we didn’t concede goals with these mistakes we’d be better. La Real hadn’t created a dangerous situation until the 50th minute. From then on, with the draw, your desire to win turns into anxiety”.

The result leaves Valencia in fourth in La Liga, but they have now extended their advantage to nine points over new fifth place team Villarreal after Sevilla’s 5-2 defeat to Atletico Madrid.