Hedwiges Maduro felt Valencia CF gave their all in an attempt to reach the UEFA Europa League semi-finals at the expense of Club Atlético de Madrid, only for time to eventually run out on Unai Emery's team.
Needing to score a second-leg goal at the Vicente Calderón to swing the tie their way following a 2-2 draw on home turf a week earlier, Valencia found themselves largely frustrated until the final 20 minutes when the hosts began to lose defensive focus.
Had David Villa or substitutes Nikola Žigić and David Navarro converted one of their side's late chances, the outcome of the all-Spanish tie could have been very different. As it was, a scoreless draw was enough to send the capital club through to last-four encounter with Liverpool FC.
"We feel pretty bad because we had opportunities to get through, especially in the last period of the game," Maduro said. "With the match at 0-0 everything was still open but unfortunately Villa [hit the crossbar] and Žigić just couldn't convert his chance.
"We played well and followed our manager's system to a tee but with that final score there's nothing we can do. We've got a good team with some good players up front but in the end a 0-0 was good enough for Atlético"
Valencia, third in the Liga and chasing a return to the UEFA Champions League next season, went into the second leg without five injured defenders; a factor Villa felt proved telling in the outcome of the tie.
"We worked really hard and spent so much energy. The fact we did so is even more notable when you remember we have so many players out injured," said the Spain forward. "Over the two games I think it was a very even tie. Atlético made things difficult for us but I believe we did enough in the final 20 minutes of tonight's match to get through."
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