Villarreal sign off Champions League campaign with sixth straight defeat

Villarreal signed off their Champions League campaign with a 2-0 home defeat to Napoli to make it six defeats from six Group A games, the worst record of any Spanish team in the competition.

The Italians needed a win at El Madrigal to qualify for the knock-out stages and second-half goals from Gokhan Inler and Marek Hamsik secured their place at the expense of Manchester City, despite Roberto Mancini’s side beating Bayern Munich 2-0 at the Etihad Stadium. Hamsik was overjoyed after helping his teammates qualify for the last 16, saying: “We played the whole game with certain intensity and got a prestigious result because Villarreal never gave up and really put up a fight.”

The Slovakian believes the club has now re-written the history books: “We are in the Napoli history books but want to do even more.” he said. “Tonight we proved we are up to the task and did not let our heads drop when we heard about City taking the lead. We fired ourselves up and after Inler’s goal we truly believed.”

Villarreal boss Juan Carlos Garrido tried to take some positives from the game. He said: “We had to compete in an extraordinarily hard group where we received several blows to our moral; it was hard to lose in the last minute against City and concede two goals in three minutes at Napoli. But the team is on the right track as there are players coming back from injury and we can improve. This was a step forward and is what the team needs.”

Captain Marcos Senna commented: “We are sad because we haven’t got any points in the competition. We wanted to have the pride of playing well today but have lost again.”

Fellow midfielder Bruno Soriano said: “We played a good game but perhaps they wanted it more in the second half. They played well and you can see they are a very good team.”

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