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Valencia beats Lille 2-0 in Champions League

Associated Press Modified: October 2, 2012 at 4:47 pm •  Published: October 2, 2012
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VALENCIA, Spain (AP) — Jonas scored in each half to give Valencia a 2-0 home win over Lille in the Champions League on Tuesday, boosting its hopes of making the knockout phase after its first victory this season.

Jonas scored in the 38th minute at Mestalla stadium after receiving a pass from Roberto Soldado. The Brazil forward added a second in the 75th with an exquisite lob after Lille had failed to take its scoring chances.

Jonas' fourth and fifth goals in eight Champions League appearances came in an otherwise uninspired performance by the Spanish side.

"This is an important win because it keeps us alive in the competition," Jonas said. "It will give us a lot of confidence going forward. Now we can play more freely and with less pressure."

Also in Group F, BATE Borisov beat Bayern Munich 3-1 to surprisingly top the pool with six points. Valencia and Bayern have three each, with Lille on zero.

"I am surprised by BATE," said Valencia coach Mauricio Pellegrino. "Everyone had written them off beforehand, but football has its surprises and gives opportunities to everyone. This complicates the group because even Lille still has the chance to go through."

Valencia made sure it wouldn't relinquish the ball as easily as it did in its defeat to Bayern two weeks ago. But Lille was patient and looked capable of leveling — having 12 shots in total to seven for Valencia— until Jonas put the result beyond doubt.

"It's tough because we played well in the first half," said Lille midfielder Florent Balmont, whose team has lost six straight games overall. "We got chances and missed them. They converted their first. That is efficiency. There is a lot of work to do. We must keep working, and against Bayern anything is possible."

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