Valencia not eyeing Atletico revenge

Valencia coach Unai Emery has told his players to banish thoughts of revenge when they play at La Liga rivals Atletico Madrid in Thursday's Europa League semi-final first leg.

Valencia were eliminated in controversial circumstances by eventual winners Atletico in the 2009/10 quarter-finals when the referee failed to award what appeared to be a clear penalty for a foul on Nikola Zigic.

The Serbian striker was left with a torn shirt after he was hauled back by defender Juanito and Atletico went through on away goals before beating Fulham in the final.

"We could look back on that to try to motivate the players but we won't do it," Emery told a news conference on Wednesday.

"We put that incident behind us as soon as it happened and you have to look forward and wait for another chance," he added.

"We have to focus on today, how we will approach the game and how we build up our hopes."

Atletico coach Diego Simeone, who has given the club new belief since taking over at the turn of the year, said there was little point dwelling on the past and that he had suffered from similar injustice during his playing career.

"It happened to me during a Juventus-Inter Milan match and I didn't spend too much time thinking about it," the former Inter midfielder told a separate news conference.

"These things happen in football and we lost the championship because of it."

Spain have dominated this year's edition of Europe's second-tier club competition and Athletic Bilbao play Portuguese side Sporting in Thursday's other semi-final first leg.


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