Celtic's Europa League opponents Valencia hurt Real Betis

By Connor Gordon

February 8, 2019

Celtic will be even more wary of Europa League opponents Valencia going by last night’s result.

Marcelino García Toral’s side were 2-0 down away at Real Betis in the Copa del Rey.

However, the Hoops’ opponents showed battling spirit to claw back two goals in a Kevin Gameiro super-sub show.

Last two games show Valencia are no mugs

The Bats have drawn their previous two matches but they are by no means negative.

Giants Barcelona were two behind against Valencia before restoring parity themselves but it is a point gained against the league leaders.

Celtic’s Europa League opponents celebrate at Camp Nou. (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images)

Valencia’s star player Gameiro got himself on the scoresheet again against the Catalans, but they couldn’t hold out Lionel Messi.

Last night’s cup tie saw Betis take advantage of an end-to-end game, gaining a two goal lead.

Gameiro came on in the second half – assisting Denis Cheryshev and scoring a late equaliser himself.

Kevin Gameiro showing he is a force with two goals and one assist in two games. (Photo by Aitor Alcalde/Getty Images)

The Bhoys must be wary of the goal threat he brings be it as provider or scorer.

What Celtic can learn from Valencia games

Going by the goals Valencia conceded last night, there’s not a lot Brendan Rodgers can laern.

Loren Morón’s opener was a tight header from a few yards out following an impressive save at the touchline.

Whereas Joaquín’s goal came directly from a corner which had to be looked over by VAR.

Valencia’s goals were more impressive and harder to defend against.

Gameiro did well to get along the byline to whack a cross to the near post for Cheryshev to head in.

Denis Cheryshev celebrates his goal against Real Betis. (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images)

Rodrigo placed an even sweeter early ball at the feet of Gameiro who smashed home, replicating Valencia’s second goal at the Camp Nou at the weekend.

The Spaniards are a very physical side who like to cross and header which will suit Dedryck Boyata.

Celtic will need to be at their sharpest against Marcelino’s side or they will be punished.

Rodrigo and Gameiro are their Sutton and Larsson partnership, teeing each other up.

The Hoops are yet to concede this year, but this time the defence will be tested by the La Liga outfit.