Valencia marched into the Champions League last 16 before kicking a ball on Tuesday as Group F rivals BATE Borisov lost 2-0 at home to Lille, a defeat that means they will have to content themselves with a place in the Europa League.
The Spaniards - who later drew 1-1 with Bayern Munich as the Germans also went through - progressed because they were previously three points above BATE and had a better head-to-head record over the Belarussians. They now lead BATE by four.
BATE, who have only one match left at Bayern, are out of the elite competition but will drop into the Europa League last 32 after securing third spot.
The victory secured Lille's first points of the group stage and came courtesy of first-half goals from Djibril Sidibe and Gianni Bruno. Sidibe was sent off for a second booking midway through the second period in misty Minsk.
Despite the win, the French side are out of Europe completely because BATE are three points above them and have a better head-to-head.
They may still have a role to play though with Valencia heading to north-east France on December 5 hoping to win and steal top spot off Bayern.comments