Valencia scrape through against Monaco, Latest Football News - The New Paper

Valencia scrape through against Monaco

Valencia survived a scare to book their spot in the Champions League group stage at the expense of Monaco in the battle between two former finalists.

The Primera Division side were leading 3-1 from the play-off first leg and looked to be cruising through when Alvaro Negredo took advantage of a defensive mistake to put Los Che, runners-up in 2000 and 2001, ahead after just four minutes with a sublime chip.

However, Monaco, who lost to Porto in the 2004 final, fought back and goals from Andrea Raggi (17) and Elderson (75) set up a grandstand finish at the Stade Louis II.

The home side could not find an equaliser, though, to leave Valencia 4-3 winners on aggregate and see Spain become the first country to have five teams in the group stages in a single season - the others being Barcelona, Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid and Europa League champions Sevilla.

Joining Valencia in going through with a 4-3 aggregate triumph were Malmo, who overcame a 3-2 first-leg deficit to dump out Celtic and reach the group stages for the second successive year - having never previously got that far.

Both of Malmo's goals came from corners, with captain Markus Rosenberg opening the scoring in the 23rd minute before an own goal from Celtic defender Dedryck Boyata nine minutes into the second half sealed the victory which sent the home fans wild at the Swedbank Stadion.

Skenderbeu's hopes of becoming the first Albanian club to reach the group stages came to an end in Zagreb as they were beaten 4-1 on Tuesday despite opponents Dinamo playing almost the entire second half with a man less.

Dinamo won the first leg 2-1 and that was the same scoreline 15 minutes into the second leg, with goals from El Arabi Soudani and Armin Hodzic sandwiching an equaliser from Esquerdinha.

Skenderbeu were given a lifeline when Dinamo midfielder Goncalo Santos was sent off three minutes into the second half, but the visitors could not take advantage as the Croatian side added further goals through Jeremy Taravel and Soudani to seal an ultimately comfortable 6-2 aggregate triumph.

Maccabi Tel-Aviv will be featuring in the group stages for only the second time - and first since the 2004-05 season - after upsetting Basel.

Luca Zuffi's 11th-minute goal put Basel 1-0 up on the night and 3-2 on aggregate, but in-form Maccabi skipper Eran Zahavi equalised 13 minutes later and the home side held on to go through on away goals after a 3-3 draw.

Zahavi has now scored seven goals in this season's competition.

The night's other match saw 2009 UEFA Cup winners Shakhtar Donetsk put their name in the hat for Thursday's draw after beating Rapid Vienna 3-2 on aggregate following a 2-2 second-leg draw.

All the goals came in the opening half-hour at the Arena Lviv with Shakhtar - looking to make the group stage for a sixth successive year - netting through Marlos (10) and Olexandr Gladkiy (27), either side of goals from Louis Schaub (13) and Steffen Hofmann (22) for Rapid.

— PA Sport

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