Pellegrino takes the positives
Valencia coach Mauricio Pellegrino said he was "disappointed" but not "devastated" after his side were deservedly beaten 2-1 at Bayern Munich in their Champions League group stage opener on Wednesday night.
Pellegrino claimed his side had paid dearly for making mistakes against a team who were capable of punishing them.
"We gave the ball away a lot, especially in the first half," Pellegrino said. "We had no support when we brought the ball out, and we were not in the right positions. In the second half we improved, but against a team like Bayern mistakes like these make things very difficult. Football is like that - against a team with that much quality, you are going to pay dearly for errors."
With Valencia badly missing the absent Fernando Gago, Bayern's new signing Javi Martinez had a comfortable Champions League debut in midfield. After Bastian Schweinsteiger's deflected effort put Bayern ahead in the first half, Toni Kroos' long-range strike soon after half-time put the Bundesliga side in control, Pellegrino said.
"We pressed them better after the break and we know we can improve," he said. "We have some important players injured, but that is no excuse. We had chances to draw level when it was 1-0, but the second goal was crucial."
In a frantic finale, Valencia pulled a goal back through substitute Nelson Valdez but would have fallen further behind if not for goalkeeper Diego Alves' penalty save from Mario Mandzukic, after Adil Rami had been shown a second yellow card for fouling Arjen Robben.
Pellegrino said he could take some positives from the game and was confident his side could still make it through to the knockout rounds, especially after BATE Borisov's surprise 3-1 win in Lille in the other Group F game.
"When the game became broken at the end there were lots of counter-attacks and dangerous situations, but at the end we have to focus on the positive," he said. "The chances we created were few, but they were clear. The players have shown good character in a difficult game against a great team. Anything can happen in the group stage and the other result tonight leaves things very open."