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Valencia progress after PSV draw

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By David Redshaw

Friday 16 March 2012

Valencia made it into the quarter-finals of the Europa League with a 5-3 aggregate win over PSV after drawing 1-1 in Holland.

The visitors took the lead two minutes after the break when Sofiane Feghouli saw his shot deflected into the net off the head of teammate Adil Rami, but with the hosts continuing to press they were eventually rewarded when Ola Toivenen drew them level on the night on 63 minutes, chesting down a loose ball inside the penalty area to sidefoot past goalkeeper Diego Alves.

With PSV searching desperately to get themselves back into the tie the game ended in some confusion after Scottish referee Willie Collum sent Rami off after 89 minutes following an off-the-ball incident with Toivonen. Curiously, after initially awarding the Dutch side a penalty the referee then changed his mind and awarded a free-kick to Valencia.

Los Ché keeper Alves, who had pulled off some fine saves to maintain the Spanish side’s advantage, praised his team’s defensive qualities in seeing out the 90 minutes without too much alarm.

“We were very strong defensively and played with a lot of intelligence, he said. “It was an important match to give us our confidence back. When you play at a stadium such as this, against a team that was aggressive all game, everybody has to be good defensively and we blocked a lot of their chances.”

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