Valencia CF enjoyed his return to his old club after Jonas's first-half penalty sealed a 1-0 victory at LOSC Lille. The Group F runners-up have struggled in the Liga, with Ernesto Valverde now ready to replace departed coach Mauricio Pellegrino, and they hope to build on their European form in the domestic arena. LOSC have also toiled of late, and right-back Franck Béria believes the 2010/11 French champions face a period of transition.
Adil Rami, Valencia defender
I enjoyed it. Of course, it was a special game for me [to return to LOSC] and a difficult one. Unfortunately for them we left with the three points, but it didn't change anything in the group.
The Champions League and the Liga are different. We often play against foreign teams who don't know the Spanish game. We play quite an open style, take risks and play quickly, and when we play in our league the other teams know us off by heart. They play 4-4-2, put pressure on us and don't let us play. We saw in the second half that LOSC let us play in the first half and then realised in the second they had to stop us from doing that.
Aly Cissokho, Valencia defender
It was quite a rigid game. We knew before the match that their fans weren't happy with their last game and we weren't happy with our recent performances either.
We wanted to give ourselves confidence; this game was a welcome opportunity for us. Tonight we did our job, which was to get the three points. We finished second, but this was a good group stage for us.
After our goal, we controlled the game and kept the ball. They came at us in the second half, brought on attacking players and created a few chances. We were under a little pressure, but we succeeded. We hope to carry on like this, and build on this performance on Saturday [against CA Osasuna] in the league.
Franck Béria, LOSC defender
It was difficult to hope for anything else than last place because we weren't good enough in our games. On the other hand, when you work all year to come third in the league like we did, it's very frustrating to finish like that. I don't think we played badly tonight, but we still have to bridge the gap to the level required in Europe.
We knew where we were going to finish before the game, so we're focused on the league, but that didn't mean we wanted to play this game with the handbrake on. I hope that was obvious tonight. It's difficult for us, and for the fans. We need wins and good results to get them back on side.
We've built expectations over recent years and have to live up to them, but we're not quite as good this year. We're trying to rebuild and start a new cycle, but it takes time.
Rio Mavuba, LOSC midfielder
We hoped to finish but if you don't score you can't hope to win. It's a shame because we did enough to not lose the game – and yet we lost again. The Champions League is over for us and we have to forget it, close this chapter, and focus on the league with the intention of coming back as soon as possible. We made things difficult after our first game [a 3-1 loss to FC BATE Borisov], so if we're lucky enough to return one day, we can't do that again.
There are times when, as a club, you're able to climb and climb. We're going through a phase where things are stagnating a bit, but maybe we need to go through this stage to improve again later. We need to think calmly. There's no point shouting at each other as everyone's trying their best. There are little problems we have to work on – our effectiveness up front, our defensive solidity – and I hope that everyone will move in the same direction with more determination.
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