Jimenez rues Sevilla's UEFA Cup exit

Dejected Sevilla coach Manolo Jimenez rued a lack of creativity after his side’s 1-0 defeat to Sampdoria on Thursday ended their UEFA Cup hopes.

Sevilla needed only a point to clinch their place in the last 32 of the competition but a late and scrappy Jonathan Bottinelli goal consigned them to defeat.

Jimenez said after the match, "The 1-0 loss is an extremely unfair result, but this is football. I am disappointed. I believe that no team deserved to win tonight but there was always a risk that we would concede. And we conceded in the dumbest way possible.

"We knew very clearly we had to score a goal. We did not have luck and, against an Italian team, there’s always the danger that they would score. When they did, the game was over. We had enough points to advance but we were unable to score. We played well on the ball but we just did not create enough chances.

"But I have to congratulate Sampdoria. They are a difficult rival who plays very hard and they do not allow you to play."

Meanwhile, Racing Santander have agreed deals to re-sign Nikola Zigic and land Alaves midfielder Toni Moral when the transfer window reopens.

Zigic, who spent one profitable season at El Sardinero before leaving to join Valencia in August 2007, will rejoin his former club on loan.

The giant Serbia striker had struggled to hold down a starting place at title-chasing Valencia during his 18 months at the Mestalla.

Elsewhere, Racing have also agreed to pay second division side Alaves €750,000 for midfielder Moral. The ex-Real Madrid youngster has spent three seasons with the former top-flight club.

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