‘Celtic were the audience and nothing else’ - Spanish press react to Valencia’s 2-0 win at Parkhead
Following Valencia’s 2-0 defeat of Celtic at Parkhead in the Europa League last-32 clash the Spanish press were unanimous in their assertion that the side are already into the next round.
Goals either side of the interval by Denis Cheryshev and Ruben Sobrino put Los Che in a commanding position going into the return leg at the Mestalla in a week’s time.
The headline in Valencia newspaper Levante summed up the evening in the East End of Glasgow: “Total superiority in Celtic Park”.
Cayetano Ros was confident that progression was assured for the Spaniards and had words of warning for Scottish football in general.
He said: “Valencia eliminated Celtic with minimal effort and are already qualified for the second round of the Europa League. The return clash, next Thursday at Mestalla, will be a formality.
“Years and generations go by, but Scottish football is still as naive as ever.
“After a quarter of an hour, Valencia had removed all fears and the respect generated by a legendary club like Celtic, the European champion in 1967, and all the mystique transmitted by the majestic Celtic Park.
“The reality was different: the whole of Rodgers, so hegemonic in the Scottish league, would not leave the lower area of the Spanish League. He does not have a footballer superior to any of Marcelino’s.”
Writing in Super Deporte Andres Garcia continued along a similar theme of Valencia dominance.
“Valencia have a foot and a half in the last-16 of the Europa League,” he said. “The team made it easier than it seemed.
“Celtic felt inferior from very early on and never had the capacity to respond. Valencia, on the other hand, matched the intensity of the Scots and proved to be so superior.”
While recognising his surroundings in Glasgow, Garcia noted how comfortable Marcelino’s men were in contrast to the basic nature of Celtic’s play, comparing them to unfashionable Getafe.
“Valencia was not crushed by the mystical staging of Celtic with more than 60,000 souls “singing non-stop” in the stands.
“The team of Brendan Rodgers insisted on coming out with the ball played from behind in an incomprehensible way. Their problems were self-generated. Valencia lived very comfortably in Celtic Park from the beginning.
“The stands of Celtic Park were emptied in the final minutes. The feeling is that if the team had needed more goals it would have marked them.”
Conrado Valle in AS was unimpressed with what Celtic had to offer, expressing it with a more romantic metaphor.
“Celtic is like going to the Milan Opera and the tenor is hoarse. Celtic Park is a majestic scenario; its atmosphere is football culture and its term was invented unconditionally by its public.
“But the pupils of Brendan Rodgers are a limited team. Beyond their initial impetus, with 60,000 souls pushing them, as soon as the ball was rolled from one foot to another of the Valencian, Celtic were the audience and little else.”
In Marca, Dario Puig picked out Ruben Sorino as the key man, as did Uefa. He wrote that “it is the debut that every footballer can dream of in his career” following his goal and assist.
“After seven consecutive victories and no goal conceded in 2019, Brendan Rodgers’ team was overwhelmed almost from start to finish,” it said in the same publication. “Valencia had to try to stifle the effervescence of Celtic Park before the atmosphere took over football.”
Valencia manager Marcelino was happy with his team’s work.
“I think we played a great game. With the ball we were fluent and I think that the good defensive and offensive work has managed to disconnect Celtic.
“The extraordinary atmosphere and we have been able to stop it. Incredible the environment lived. I do not think that the game you have in mind is important, but to see the commitment of the players. To play away from home, speed is a major factor.”
Toni Lato told en.valenciacf.com: “This is a spectacular place to play, and you enjoy yourself playing here, but we had the patience and personality to set the tie up well. We’ll take things game by game, but we got a good result here and we’re going to try to go as far as possible in a very important competition.”