Thursday 22 March 2018

Neville: I don't care if we draw Man United

Valencia's new head coach Gary Neville
Valencia's new head coach Gary Neville Newsdesk Newsdesk

Gary Neville says he doesn't care if Valencia are drawn against Manchester United in the Europa League after their hopes of making it through to the knockout stages of the Champions League were dashed by a 2-0 defeat to Lyon.

The dream was all but over after 18 minutes when the two huge screens at the Mestalla showed that Gent were 1-0 up against Zenit St Petersburg. The Belgians had to lose and Valencia win for Neville's men to take second spot in Group H.

Things got worst on 37 minutes when 19-year-old Maxwell Cornet's curling shot sailed into his top right-hand corner of the hosts' net. Alexandre Lacazette made sure of the win for Lyon, their first in this year's competition, with a second-half strike that sees Valencia join United in Europe's second tier competition.

"Who we draw and whether we play Manchester United is the last thing on my mind at this moment in time, I'm thinking about Sunday's game in the league," said the former United captain. "Honestly at this moment in time I couldn't care if we play Manchester United or anyone else in the next round of the Europa League."

Goals from Laurent Depoitre and Danijel Milicevic helped Genk to a 2-1 win over the previously unbeaten Zenit as they became only the second Belgian side to advance to the knockout phase.

Javier Hernandez's 12th goal in 11 games gave Bayer Leverkusen a 1-1 draw against Group E winners Barcelona, who had taken the lead through Lionel Messi in the 20th minute.

The draw meant Leverkusen finished in third, level on six points with AS Roma, who were held 0-0 by BATE Borisov, but were eliminated due to a poorer head-to-head record with the Italians.

Robert Lewandowski scored twice in four second-half minutes to seal Bayern Munich's 2-0 win at Dinamo Zagreb.

Champions League last 16

Group winners: Real Madrid, Wolfsburg, Atletico Madrid, Manchester City, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Chelsea, Zenit St Petersburg.

Group runners-up: Paris St Germain, PSV Eindhoven, Benfica, Juventus, Roma, Arsenal, Dynamo Kiev, Gent

Irish Independent

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