Celades emerges from predecessor’s shadow at Valencia

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — With Valencia back in the Champions League last 16 for the first time in seven seasons, coach Albert Celades has made the players and supporters forget about his inauspicious arrival.

In September, Celades was tasked with the difficult job of replacing the successful and extremely popular Marcelino García Toral, who fell out with Singapore owner Peter Lim.

Marcelino led Valencia to the Copa del Rey title — beating Lionel Messi’s Barcelona in the final — and a fourth-place league finish last season. That didn’t stop Lim from firing him three matches into this season after disagreeing over their plans for reinforcing the squad.

Lim picked the inexperienced Celades to take over amid a fan revolt that
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