Marchena wants Valencia repeat

BY foxsports • February 27, 2010

Valencia captain Carlos Marchena hopes the players can replicate their midweek Europa League performance when they go to Atletico Madrid.

Los Che needed extra-time to overcome Club Brugge on Thursday night after Juan Mata's first-minute strike cancelled out the Belgian side's first-leg advantage.

Pablo Hernandez was the Valencia hero with goals in the 96th and 117th minutes as Unai Emery's men finally found a way past outstanding Brugge goalkeeper Stijn Stijnen.

Spain international Marchena was delighted to have got through to the next round, and a meeting with Werder Bremen, and gave special thanks to the supporters.

Marchena said: "The crowd at the Mestalla have helped the team turn this around, right from the start.

"Nights like this are fantastic and I want to thank everyone and tell them that the team are hugely appreciative."

As for the clash with Werder, Marchena sounded a cautious note and also urged his team-mates to focus on the more immediate task of a trip to the Estadio Vicente Calderon.

He added: "Werder are a big team, a strong team but now we have to think about Atletico. We have plenty of time to think about the next Europa League match and hopefully we can continue taking small steps like this.

"We go into tomorrow's game in good spirits. We may have tired legs but after this comes a week with no midweek game so we have plenty of time to recover."

Atletico were also in Europa League action in midweek and also emerged victorious after edging past Galatasaray.

It appeared the tie was going to extra-time at 2-2 but striker Diego Forlan grabbed a 90th-minute winner to send the Rojiblancos through to a last 16 meeting with Sporting Lisbon.

"It was a nice goal," the Uruguayan said. "We needed to win and get through to the next stage. I'm really happy to have done it for the team."

Forlan started on the bench but entered the fray when Sergio Aguero was taken off with a facial injury.

The Argentinian was kicked in the mouth area by Servet Cetin in the 37th minute and had to be taken off with dizziness, although coach Quique Sanchez Flores is optimistic he will be fit for tomorrow's game.

"We think Aguero is okay," he said.

"It was a big scare, we thought it was a fracture, but in the end it's just bruising around the jaw."

Atletico go into the game as one of the most inconsistent sides in Spain.

They became the first side to beat Barcelona this season with a 2-1 win on February 14 but followed that up with a disappointing 1-0 defeat at Almeria last weekend.

Sanchez Flores' side are currently 13th - seven points above the relegation zone - but with little chance of qualifying for European competition next season.

Valencia are almost certain to be in the Champions League next term after rising to third although they remain well adrift of top two Barcelona and Real Madrid.

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