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Emery ponders Atletico revenge

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By David Redshaw

Thursday 19 April 2012

Unai Emery admits he is thinking of revenge before Thursday’s Europa League semi-final first-leg clash with Atletico Madrid at the Vicente Calderon.

The Valencia boss insists he wants to his side to score and also to keep a clean sheet, but admits he remembers the game between the two sides at the same stage of the competition in 2010, when Nikola Zigic had a penalty appeal turned down after his shirt was virtually torn off his back by Juanito Gutierrez.

“What we are thinking about now is not the shirt but revenge in a sporting sense,” Emery told a Press conference. “After that game they went on to become champions when it could have been us.

“Now we have a rematch with Atletico, a team similar to Valencia in many ways, with the same objectives and hopes of reaching and winning the final. However, we will try to score and also to keep a clean sheet, although it will be difficult against a side that will play with maximum motivation.”

Emery is acutely aware of the threat posed by Atleti striker Radamel Falcao, who is responsible for half his side’s goals in La Liga this season and is three away from being the top goalscorer in the competition two years running after his exploits with Porto last season. The 40-year-old believes his defenders must be on their guard to stop the Colombian hitman.

“Falcao is among the best strikers around, the same as Roberto Soldado,” he explained. “We know Atletico are a great team but one of the keys will be to stop their attacking capabilities, most of which are centred on Falcao."

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