Man United boss Jose Mourinho won't do this against Arsenal - Ray Wilkins
- Author: Julie Sanders May 06, 2017,
May 06, 2017, 0:15
It overcame a 1-0 loss at home in the round of 32 to Shakhtar Donetsk, and advanced by 2-0 win in the second leg. Celta also defeated Real Madrid away from home in the Copa del Rey, and eventually eliminated Madrid.
United's quest to earn a Champions League place for next season has seen them prioritise the Europa League over the English top flight in recent weeks and Thursday's 1-0 win at Celta Vigo puts them in pole position to secure a place in the final, most likely against Ajax, with the victor joining Europe's elite in the 2017-18 season.
The away goal could prove crucial ahead of next week's return fixture at Old Trafford, where the Spanish side face an uphill battle to progress from their first major European semi-final. "First of all, I only have words of thankfulness towards Mourinho for his comments but I don't think I am the best", said the Ecuador global. But Valencia feels the pressure to play well in the first leg, or indeed any match, comes not from being the side expected to triumph but simply from being United. "I think, in the last match against Swansea, we lost our last chance to fight for the top four so I'm going to rest players".
Since then, he's hit the net to secure victories over Arsenal, Manchester City, Chelsea, Aston Villa and Hull City domestically - not to mention winners in Europe's second competition once again this season over Anderlecht in the quarter-finals and last night against Celta Vigo.
"They were not far superior from us and we were close so it's not impossible". We have two matches in one week against Celta, it's important to have everybody back. We have two fantastic goalkeepers, we have a third goalkeeper that I think will be the best Portuguese goalkeeper of the next generation [Joel Pereira].
"After that Mourinho has got a lot of experience and he just tells his players: "Game's over, game's finished, 1-0, we're not gonna play anymore football tonight".
"So we have to try, that's what we are going to do, and honestly the Europa League for us now becomes more important".
"And it is good to have three players back, that gives us more options".