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Simeone praises ´heroic´ victory

27 April 2012 01:52

Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone is thrilled to see his side reach the Europa League final following the 1-0 victory against Valencia.

A goal from Adrian on the hour mark sealed Atletico's passage to Bucharest after the first leg at the Vicente Calderon had finished 4-2 in favour of Simeone's side.

"I am happy for my players, who are making a huge effort," Simeone said. "It is heroic what they are doing, playing twice a week, with a squad which is not too big and has had injuries.

"I am also happy for the club's officials, who have trusted us, and for the fans, who are proud of supporting Atletico tonight."

The final will be an all Spanish affair, with Atletico to take on fellow La Liga sie athletic Bilbao in the final on May 9 in Bucharest.

Simeone said he was looking forward to meeting Bilbao in the final, especially compatriot Marcelo Bielsa.

"Athletic are having an extraordinary campaign, reaching the final in the Europa League and in the Copa del Rey," he said.

"I would like to congratulate them. I know Marcelo and this will be a final between friends, but each will obviously want to win."

Valencia coach Unai Emery had no complaints about the result, but was disappointed his side could not find an early goal to make things interesting.

"They were better and deserved to win," Emery said. "It was key for us to score a goal and we were not able to do this.

"We were close to scoring in the first half, but that was not enough. If we had scored, we would have taken the match to our side, but that was not the case.

"I am happy with the fact that we were all together, fans and team, but the first leg played a key role."

Emery said his side would now refocus on their La Liga campaign as they fight to secure third place and a Champions League berth for next season.

"The most important thing now is that Valencia can compete at the highest level in Europe again and for that, La Liga is the way," he said.

"We are sad that we will not play any final, neither in the Copa del Rey, nor in the Europa League, but now we have to focus on our main goal, which is to qualify for the Champions League."

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Info

Competition
UEFA Europa League
Date
26 April 2012
Kick-off
21:05
Half-time
0 - 0
Full-time
0 - 1
On aggregate
2 - 5
Venue
Estadio de Mestalla (Valencia)
Attendance
35000

Goals

0 - 1
60' Adrián
 (assist by Diego)

Lineups

# Player Bookings
1
20
12
4
17 79'
6
8
21
9 79'
7
16
Coach: Unai Emery
# Player Bookings
13 36'
23
20
6
2
5 79'
22
4
11
7 60'
9
Coach: D. Simeone

Substitutes

# Player Bookings
11 86'
22
24
3
13
14
18
# Player Bookings
14
8
19
18
21
25
41

Friday 18 April

19:10
18:54
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04:05
02:41
02:39
00:05

Thursday 17 April

23:52
23:37
23:13
22:20
21:38
20:13
20:11
19:33
19:26
19:20
18:43
18:28
18:02
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10:10
09:50
09:04
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04:17
04:14
03:03
02:27
01:00
00:52
00:41
00:37
00:27
00:19
00:19
00:06

Wednesday 16 April

23:58
23:45
23:32
23:29
22:58
22:48
22:47
22:28
22:05
21:02
20:59
19:08
19:08
18:05
17:56
17:53
17:06
16:38
16:37
16:35
16:06
15:46
15:17
15:08
14:06
13:43
13:34
13:20
13:13
13:12
13:04
12:58
12:40
12:31
12:23
12:11
12:04
11:23
11:17
11:11
10:31
10:19
09:12
07:53
07:21
06:37
05:31
05:23
04:47
03:30
03:28
02:41
02:32
01:48
01:41
00:03

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