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EUROPA-LEAGUE- KEITA: “WE THOUGHT IT WAS GOING TO BE EASY”

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It was a challenging evening for Valencia in the first leg of the Europa League quarter-final. The Spanish team faced humiliation in Switzerland at the hands of FC Basel, conceding three goals. Basel’s strong performance reaffirmed their status as serious contenders in the European competition, having reached the semi-finals last season.

Malian midfielder Seydou Keita admitted that Valencia underestimated their opponents. He remarked, “We thought it would be easy, but the result speaks for itself… While we recognized Basel as a strong team from their performances in the Champions League, we perhaps underestimated their potential due to their participation in a less prestigious league than the ones we typically follow.”

Basel now holds a significant advantage as they head to Spain for the return leg. Valencia failed to trouble the Swiss defense throughout the match, and their missed opportunities in the second half compounded their difficulties. Keita acknowledged the challenge ahead, stating, “At 2-0, it was already complicated. So at 3-0, what can I say? We are facing a significant deficit.”

With their UEFA Cup success a decade ago under Rafa Benitez’s leadership, Valencia’s current prospects for advancing to the next round appear bleak. They will need a strong performance in the return leg at Mestalla to overturn the deficit and secure a spot in the semi-finals.

Tags: Spain, Europa League, FC Basel, football, Seydou Keita, Valencia

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