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Spot-on Jonas gets better of LOSC again

LOSC Lille 0-1 Valencia CF
Scorer of two goals against LOSC in October, Jonas made the difference again with a first-half penalty as the visitors finished runners-up in Group F.

Spot-on Jonas gets better of LOSC again
Spot-on Jonas gets better of LOSC again ©UEFA.com

Jonas haunted LOSC Lille for the second time this season, but his first-half penalty winner was not enough to catapult Valencia CF above FC Bayern München in the final UEFA Champions League Group F reckoning.

The Brazilian forward struck twice when the Spanish side beat Les Dogues 2-0 in October, and he made the only intervention of note in a quiet opening period after being impeded by Marko Baša. Overseen by Salvador González before incoming coach Ernesto Valverde takes the reins, Valencia needed Bayern to stumble against FC BATE Borisov to dislodge them at the top. Events in Germany rendered this result academic – save for LOSC's obvious frustration as they failed to capitalise on their second-half pressure.

Already destined to finish bottom and with little more than pride at stake, the hosts kicked off with a brief flicker of bright intentions. Coach Rudi Garcia named young forwards Ronny Rodelin and Gianni Bruno in an experimental lineup and the fringe duo almost combined in the second minute, Bruno unable to turn in his team-mate's cross from the left.

That early enterprise soon dissipated, with neither side seemingly capable of dictating any sort of strident tempo. Jonas had an effort from distance comfortably saved by Steeve Elana and Rodelin gave Vicente Guaita catching practice at the other end, but it took until the 29th minute for either goalkeeper to truly be tested and even then Rio Mavuba fired too close to Guaita after driving forward.

Seven minutes later Valencia went ahead from the first real shot in anger, Jonas slotting his penalty low and left for his fourth goal in this year's competition. For LOSC, it was a goal they had not seen coming, and they mounted a more credible case for themselves after the break, with Lucas Digne making gains down the left and Rodelin nearly equalising after a corner fell to him at the far post. His shot back across goal was blocked superbly on the line by Nelson Valdez, and Guaita quickly smothered the danger to thwart Bruno.

Bruno then screwed wide as Les Dogues looked to keep up their pressure, yet it was Jonas who threatened next, curling narrowly wide from distance. Nevertheless, the Ligue 1 team rallied again towards the end – the end of their European season, in fact – and Guaita produced excellent saves to keep out Salomon Kalou and substitute Nolan Roux, while Dimitri Payet stroked a fine shot against the crossbar.

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