When you are knocked out of Europe there is a hope that the victors go on to do well in the tournament. Valencia overcame Russian fourth placed club, Krasnodar, in the Europa round of 16, but it took a 93rd minute goal to rescue what was an away goals elimination. Less impressive that Villarreal, who walloped Russian leaders, Zenit, 5-2 on aggregate.
The consensus was that Salzburg were the best team we faced in Europe this season, but they were unable to overturn a 3-0 first leg deficit to Napoli. Napoli are at a multi-decade peak, adrift of Juventus but comfortably ahead of all others in Italy, but still, when we faced Salzburg they looked strong enough to withstand an evening in Naples.
Valencia may yet make a late push for the trophy, but at this stage, it looks like we were beaten in Europe by teams with limited potential (and let’s remember, AEK lost all six Champions League group games).
Leipzig continue to occupy a Champions League qualification spot in Germany and will still be wondering what went wrong in the Europa League group stage. That was a worthy scalp, but we flattered Salzburg and AEK.