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Losing start drops Gary Neville into the Europa League

By Staff Reporter

Published 10/12/2015

Valencia's head coach Gary Neville signals during a group H Champions League soccer match between Valencia and Lyon at the Mestalla stadium in Valencia, Spain, Wednesday Dec. 9, 2015. (AP Photo/Alberto Saiz)
Valencia's head coach Gary Neville signals during a group H Champions League soccer match between Valencia and Lyon at the Mestalla stadium in Valencia, Spain, Wednesday Dec. 9, 2015. (AP Photo/Alberto Saiz)

Gary Neville's chances of taking Valencia through to the knockout stages of the Champions League in his first game in charge survived for 18 minutes.

That's when the two huge screens at the Mestalla showed that Gent were 1-0 up against Zenit St Petersburg. The Belgians had to lose and Valencia win.

Things got worst on 37 minutes when 19-year-old Maxwell Cornet's curling shot sailed home. For the first time in the night, Neville sat down.

Alexandre Lacazette had the final say, netting Lyon's second with 15 minutes to go as Neville's men dropped into the Europa League.

Genk sealed a 2-1 win over Zenit with goals from Laurent Depoitre and Danijel Milicevic

Meanwhile, Javier Hernandez gave Bayer Leverkusen a 1-1 draw against Barcelona.

Hernandez netted his 12th goal in 11 games just three minutes after Lionel Messi had given a weakened Barca side the lead after 20 minutes. The draw meant Leverkusen finished third.

CHAMPIONS LEAGUE LAST 16

Group winners: Real Madrid, Wolfsburg, Atletico Madrid, Manchester City, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Chelsea, Zenit St Petersburg.

Group runners-up: Paris St Germain, PSV Eindhoven, Benfica, Juventus, Roma, Arsenal, Dynamo Kiev, Gent.

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