Saturday 18 November 2017

History for Spanish clubs

Shakhtar Donetsk's Olexandr Gladkiy
Shakhtar Donetsk's Olexandr Gladkiy

Spain became the first nation to have five teams in the Champions League group stage in a single season after Valencia squeezed past Monaco 4-3 on aggregate in the playoff round despite a 2-1 defeat at the French side last night.

Valencia joined holders Barcelona, Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid and Sevilla, who gained an automatic berth as last season's winners of the second-tier Europa League.

Malmo, Dinamo Zagreb, Maccabi Tel Aviv and Shakhtar Donetsk also booked money-spinning group stage spots in Europe's premier club competition. Croatians Dinamo qualified for the third time in the past five seasons, beating Skenderbeu 4-1 at home to complete a 6-2 overall victory over the Albanians.

A nervy 2-2 home draw with Rapid Vienna saw Shakhtar through after a 1-0 win in the first leg while Maccabi edged out Basel on away goals, a 1-1 home draw being just enough following last week's 2-2 tie.

BOURNEMOUTH exhibited their Barclays Premier League class with a comprehensive 4-0 hammering of Sky Bet League Two Hartlepool in the Capital One Cup second round.

Two-and-a-half years after their last trip to Victoria Park for a League One clash, the Cherries headed into this fixture on the back of the first top-flight win in their history.

FLORIAN THAUVIN announced himself on Tyneside in style as he put League Two Northampton to the sword to book Newcastle's place in the third round of the Capital One Cup.

The £13million winger opened the scoring on his first start for the club, and then provided the ammunition for Siem De Jong, Daryl Janmaat and Mike Williamson to secure a 4-1 victory at St James' Park with Marc Richards' 10th-minute penalty having briefly given the League Two side hope.

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