The mood of the coaches could hardly have been more contrasting as Bayer 04 Leverkusen's Robin Dutt reflected on "a very special victory" and Unai Emery an unjust defeat.
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Robin Dutt, Leverkusen coach
The first half an hour didn't go as planned. We put ourselves in awkward positions with some poor passes and Valencia totally deserved to be ahead because they put us under pressure.
The team delivered a great performance from the 35th minute onwards. It was not fun to watch the match before that [from our point of view] but then we took the initiative and it was all-out attack after the break. The players want to deliver, and today we saw that.
We saw that Valencia make mistakes too when put under pressure and it was a never-say-die attitude from us. Our performance and energy were amazing and it's a huge relief to beat a top European team. Hopefully it will give us the boost that we needed. It was a very special victory and we're now four points ahead of [third-placed Valencia].
Unai Emery, Valencia coach
I don't see the result as a fair one. We deserved to win and for that reason I am happy with our game but very upset with the result. In the overall scheme of things Valencia were the better side and lost. We knew that they would come at us because they have good players. We also knew they would have their chances and they took advantage of them. We didn't manage to do that during our moments in the game.
It feels somehow unjust to lose but we have to accept it. We didn't manage to contain them in the opening quarter of the second half but that was also to do with their strength. In the first 30 minutes we were really on top and I was feeling confident.
The difficulty in advancing from the group has increased but we must remain optimistic and grab the chances that come our way. Looking at how we played tonight I am optimistic. If I didn't believe that Valencia were capable of winning the three remaining games in this group I wouldn't be here. We also know that we're not depending on ourselves now.