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Valencia, PSV cruise into last 16
Published : 23 Feb 2012 20:46:50Rss feed
Valencia followed Spanish league neighbours Athletic Bilbao in advancing to the last 16 of the Europa League Thursday as both sides emerged victorious in their last 32 second leg ties.
Valencia started their home tie against Stoke City boasting a 1-0 lead, and their task became easier when Brazilian Jonas gave them a 24th minute lead which was never challenged by the English Premier League side.
It gave the Spanish side a 2-0 aggregate score and put them into a last 16 clash with PSV Eindhoven, who should prove formidable opponents after a 4-1 hammering of Trabzonspor for a 6-2 aggregate over the Turks.
Athletic Bilbao had an arguably bigger challenge against Lokomotiv Moscow following a 2-1 defeat to the Russians in the first leg last week.
And their away goal in the Russian capital proved to be crucial as the Spaniards could only eke out a 1-0 win in Bilbao thanks to winger Iker Muniain's 62nd minute winner.
Former champions Atletico Madrid, in action later Thursday, were looking to make it three Spanish clubs into the last 16 having taken a 3-1 lead over Lazio into their second leg.
Belgian interest in the competition meanwhile now lies with Standard Liege, who also had the away goals rule to thank for their qualification after a scoreless draw at home against Wisla Krakow, having drawn 1-1 in Poland last week.
Club Brugge were sent packing after a 1-0 home defeat to Hanover gave the Bundesliga side a 3-1 victory over the two legs.
Udinese turned on the firepower to escape potential disaster in Greece, the Italians scoring two first-half goals and adding a second after the break for a 3-0 away win against PAOK Salonika.
On Wednesday Manchester City secured their place in the last 16 with a 4-0 second leg win over defending champions FC Porto.
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