Valencia coach Unai Emery described his side's UEFA Champions League exit at the hands of Schalke as "disappointing", "unjust" and "incomprehensible". Having been held 1-1 at home in the first leg of their last-16 tie, Valencia quickly wiped out Schalke's advantage of an away goal in last night's second leg when Ricardo Costa headed the Spanish side ahead in the 17th minute.
However, Valencia could not hold onto their lead and Schalke drew level just before the break with a brilliant free-kick from Jefferson Farfan before second-half goals from Mario Gavranovic and Farfan earned the German side a 3-1 win on the night and 4-2 triumph on aggregate.
Emery, whose side had several good chances before Farfan settled the contest with his second goal deep into stoppage-time, said: "The disappointment is huge, similar to the elimination against Atletico last year (UEFA Europa League quarter-finals). We had high hopes, this was the match we had prepared for and had to win. Maybe there have been games in the league where we didn't deserve to win and that good luck deserted us this time."
"With everything in our favour we've ended up losing. It's incomprehensible. At 1-0 up we had the game under control, with chances to hit them on the counter-attack, and then they go and equalise. Then, in the second half, without creating much, they go 2-1 up. Then we have four chances and we don't take any.
"We've been knocked out unjustly, we've missed an opportunity with everything in our favour. It was a game where we had more chances and we lost. I went back into the dressing room so disappointed that I couldn't say anything to the players, but I have nothing to blame them for."
Having also been knocked out of the Copa del Rey, Valencia must now switch their full attention to La Liga, where they are currently in third spot, 13 points behind second-placed Real Madrid and four ahead of fourth-placed Villarreal.
Valencia forward Juan Mata said in AS: "We need to continue working, we must continue fighting for third place. Now we have only the league left, we need to keep hold of third place and get directly into the Champions League, which is the objective of the club."