It is an indication of how seriously Valencia CF take the challenge of their Matchday 6 date with Genoa CFC that they were determined to travel to Italy as Group B leaders by defeating LOSC Lille Métropole.
Captain on the night Carlos Marchena told uefa.com after the 3-1 victory that it had been imperative not only to secure the three points but to make a firm statement of intent. "We considered it vital to be able to travel to Genoa as group leaders and in control of our destiny," said the centre-back. "Obviously we cannot relax yet simply because we achieved this objective because it remains vital that we draw or win in Italy [to qualify]."
Valencia never ceded control after Juan Mata served Joaquín with the first goal in the third minute. The winger struck again after the half-hour, while Mata helped himself to the third in the 52nd minute before Aurélien Chedjou registered for the visitors in added time. "It's a bit of a shame Lille scored late on and then made another good chance because if you only look at the previous 89 or 90 minutes then we played almost the complete match and put on a very good performance for our fans," added Marchena.
Although Mata, with two goals and an assist in two group matches against Lille, has turned into the main torturer of Rudi Garcia's team, it was Joaquín who starred on the night. His second goal was particularly good and the Andalusian mixed pride in the team's work with self satisfaction when he looked back at what was only Valencia's second group victory. "This is a great way to prepare for the return match against Genoa because this Lille team is far tougher to beat than it looked tonight," he said. "I managed to get a couple of goals which help me remind people what I'm capable of and shows I'm taking advantage of the chances I'm given."
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