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Quique Sanchez Flores right to turn down Stoke City

Espanyol boss Quique Sanchez Flores has thanked the club for supporting him around the speculation linking him with the Stoke City job.

The former Watford coach was heavily linked with a move to the Premier League side last week, but several meetings with his current club and the English side led him to remain in Spain.

Having seen Paul Lambert be installed as boss at the Britannia stadium following his decision not to take the job, Flores played a massive part in Espanyol’s 1-0 Copa del Rey win over Barcelona on Wednesday evening.

Oscar Melendo scored the only goal of the game, which also saw Lionel Messi miss a penalty for the visitors at Cornella El-Prat.

And, Flores chose his press conference following the game – to thank his club for their support.

“I’m grateful to Espanyol,” he said after the game.

“I’ve been part of this project for a year and a half, we’ve picked up 80 points during this time, we’re in the quarter-finals, we’ve beaten Barcelona and the fans are excited.

“Our obligation is to do things like this for the fans and fill their hearts with success and enthusiasm.”

The return leg is next week now between Espanyol and Barcelona at the Camp Nou.

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Elsewhere on Wednesday evening, Sevilla beat Atletico Madrid at the Wanda Metropolitano thanks to goals form Jesus Navas and Joaquin Correa.

Valencia will also take a lead into their second leg against Alaves after a slender 2-1 win in the first leg at the Mestalla.

All the goals in this game came in the second half here too and it was the visitors who stunned the home fans by taking the lead. Ruben Sobrino had a shot from all of 30 yards out which arrowed into the top corner.

However they were ahead for only seven minutes when Goncalo Guedes’ cross from the right somehow found its way into the net as Antonio Sivera managed to fumble the ball into the net.

Adrian Dieguez was then sent off for Alaves for a kick on Guedes and Rodrigo then found the net via the post from Luciano Vietto’s pass to give Valencia the first leg win.

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