UEFA Champions League

Season 4 Episode 14

Last 16 phase (2nd leg-season 2008/09)

0
Aired Unknown Mar 10, 2009 on Sky Sports

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    • Rafael Benítez: (on Liverpool's 4-0 win against Real ) Tonight we played really well from beginning to end and I am pleased for the players and the fans. It is unfair to talk about individuals because everyone was very, very good so I am really pleased for everyone and we deserved this victory. Fernando Torres and Álvaro Arbeloa were close to not featuring tonight so I'm very pleased for them. Torres scored and Arbeloa kept on running until the end. Maybe Madrid were expecting us to play deep and counterattack but we put them under pressure from the start and tried to win. We are always confident in Europe because the team have been very good for the past five years. When you have important games coming up players play well and we will enjoy this victory until Saturday. We have to be pleased to score four against a top side like Madrid. However, we could have scored more so there is always room for improvement. When you play against Madrid it will always be difficult but we played really well away from home and tonight was the same but in a different way. This is an important victory in an important competition and in the next round we will play against another big name and we will have to win again.

    • Juande Ramos: (on Real's 4-0 defeat by Liverpool) We are very disappointed and sad to be out of the competition. We conceded two early goals and then tried to equalise which always left us open to a Liverpool counterattack. We are not happy with the result but they were the better side on the night and deserved to go through. We tried to take the game to them but the goals made things difficult and it was always going to be tough when we went two down. The game started evenly with both teams trying to win, but the first goal really helped Liverpool. All teams are equal at this stage in the competition. You must play against the very cream of Europe and small incidents can swing in certain sides' favour, but Liverpool deserved to win tonight. Everyone is feeling down but we will go into training tomorrow, prepare for the next game and continue with the challenge ahead.

    • Manuel Pellegrini: (on Villarreal's 2-1 win against Panathinaikos) I am very happy with our victory. It's very important for us to be among the eight best teams in Europe. It was a deserved qualification, bearing in mind that we were also the better team in the first leg. Our performance in the second half today was as it should be and it paid off. The first half was more even, but after the interval we moved our lines forward and put pressure on Panathinaikos. Our method of attacking was the one you saw tonight on the pitch, charging along the flanks, especially down the left; we were very dangerous and ultimately successful.

    • Henk ten Cate: (on Panathinaikos 2-1 defeat by Villareal) I wouldn't say the result was a failure. These were two very difficult encounters against a great team, very tough matches for both sides. At this level minor details make all the difference. Their two goals tonight came from our mistakes and at this level, you pay dearly for your errors. I can't complain about my players, they did everything they could. Tonight, it just wasn't enough. Especially for the second goal, we left three players unmarked. It's a small error, but they killed us with that. In the first half tonight, we had more possession and most of the pressure. But in the second half we should have played more with our heads and not only with our hearts. We should be more intelligent and that is something we weren't, especially in the second goal when we conceded. But that's a lack of experience. When we started our UEFA Champions League adventure this season more than 80 per cent of our squad hadn't played in this competition. Since then, we have improved a lot as a team, we managed to win our group, recorded great away victories in Milan and Bremen and played well in general. We exit with our heads held high; we are proud of our Champions League campaign.

    • Claudio Ranieri: (on Juventus 2-2 draw with Chelsea) We lost the opportunity to reach the quarter-finals at Stamford Bridge as we didn't manage to score and in this kind of competition it is very important to find the net away from home. I want to thank the team for the great commitment they showed tonight and also the fans, who gave us their support until the end. We lost against a great team, the same squad that reached the final last year. They proved to have something more than Juventus – this doesn't mean that my men weren't good enough, and if we had reached the quarter finals instead of Chelsea it would not have been a scandal. In the second half I brought on Giovinco in place of Iaquinta because we needed to play down the flanks more, as we were losing all the challenges in the air. He had a pretty good match and his arrival gave new strength to the team. Unfortunately, Essien's goal at the end of the first half was a huge blow for us and even though the team reacted well after the break, scoring again from the penalty, the red card shown to Chiellini definitely ended our attempt at the impossible.

    • Guus Hiddink: (on Chelsea's 2-2 draw with Juventus) We started the match slowly and in the opening minutes Juventus easily got past our defence and scored their first goal. The team didn't react well immediately, but we grew as time went on and luckily we made it 1-1 through Essien just before the break. In the second half we controlled the game much more and even after penalty the team reacted well, scoring a beautiful goal through Didier Drogba. He is a very important player for us as he scores and helps the team when we are defending. Nicolas Anelka was also very important tonight, as he kept two defenders busy even though he hadn't trained much in recent days. I'm very happy for Essien, too. He played very well and scored a goal, even though he was not able to play at a high level for the whole match due to his physical condition. Playing here against Juventus was not easy, but I'm really satisfied with the way we reacted in the difficult moments of the match, especially after Juve's goals.

    • José Mourinho: (on Inter's 2-0 defeat by ManUtd) United deserved to reach the quarter-finals because they won and did it in a pragmatic way, scoring twice and not conceding in 180 minutes. We must accept the result but this doesn't mean that we played badly. Tonight we put on a great display against mighty opponents and luck didn't help us. We conceded goals after a few minutes in both halves but played with personality despite this, creating three great chances to score and twice hitting the woodwork. Not all defeats are equal and I'm proud of the way my team played against United. I'm sad about the result, but we did everything to beat them. Now have to react to this defeat immediately, starting from tomorrow in training, and try to win the next Serie A match. United have the same squad from last year, except for Berbatov, but now they have played together for five or six seasons and are less young and more expert. They played at their maximum physically and mentally and could win on all fronts this season. All the great teams have to experience defeats to grow up and reach great targets; next year with Santon and Balotelli both one year older, we will grow in experience and will try to go as far as possible in Europe. For the moment, I'm satisfied with what my team showed on the pitch. We are out of the Champions League, but we want to win the Scudetto, and I'm sure we'll reach our goal. We knew that Vidić was strong in the air, especially on dead-balls, but unfortunately we fielded just one player tonight with the right characteristic to fight with him – Ibrahimović – and for the first goal he was marking Ronaldo.

    • Sir Alex Ferguson: (on ManUtd's 2-0 win against Inter) We started well and found the net after a few minutes and at that point I thought we could score again immediately, but we conceded a lot of space to Inter and were lucky at the end of the first half not to concede. What makes me happy is that we confronted a team at their strongest and beat them despite making a few mistakes. I'm sure that by the quarter-finals, we will be better. Inter fielded many players of great experience so I decided to do the same, starting with Giggs and Scholes. They played well in the opening minutes, but after the first 20 we slowed our rhythm and Inter had the better of it, creating a couple of good chances. In the second half we scored early again and that helped us a lot. After our second goal, Inter pressed us in our midfield, but our defence reacted well – Rio Ferdinand and Vidić in particular did a fantastic job. We played one of the strongest teams in Europe, so I'm really happy at the way we completed our mission.

    • Arsène Wenger: (on Arsenal's 1-0 defeat by Rona) I believe Roma defended much better than they did in the first leg. They were more determined in the challenges and did not allow us to dominate the game as we had done in the first leg. I give a lot of credit to Roma for that. I would not say there is much difference between English and Italian teams because all the ties were very balanced. Maybe the spirit is the difference as we have more confidence at the moment. You could see it today when we missed the first penalty but we continued to believe we could do it. We needed to show great determination tonight. We were a bit nervous at the start and conceded a goal more for that reason than for their attacks. However, I must pay tribute to my team. There was a huge mental strength tonight. Our character has been questioned many times but I was sure that this team is very strong.

    • Luciano Spalletti: (on Roma's 1-0 win against Arsenal) It was a very painful defeat but the team must be proud of what they did during the whole 90 minutes and extra time. Penalties are really cruel, we know that. We were prepared for penalties and we saved one substitution for the last minute, just to put on a penalty specialist in Vincenzo Montella. I confess that I was sure we'd win on penalties because we would have deserved it for what we did during the game despite all the difficulties. However, we have to learn to lose and accept defeats with our heads up because we did everything we had to do. It was a heroic night for my players, for what they did in a very difficult period. We had several injuries ahead of the game and players who were forced to play despite not being 100 per cent. As if that was not enough, we had more injuries during the match. I really could not ask for more of my players, we just lacked a bit of luck. I think the advantage of the English teams right now is that they are calmer than us. It feels like they have less pressure than us. I'm sorry especially for the fans because they supported us with great affection tonight. They were wonderful.

    • Claude Puel: (on Lyon's 5-2 defeat by Barcelona) Barcelona were better and I congratulate their players, but my team came to win. The ball was moved very quickly and both legs of the tie were good. Barça played very openly which prevented us from playing our normal game. Their first-half display overwhelmed us, making any comeback too difficult. We have come back in other matches, such as against Fiorentina, but this time we could not. Anything can happen in football. We remained confident and kept believing but we failed to maintain our pressure. We would have liked to have won and played well but the key was the first half and then we failed to perform as we can. It was a disappointment but the season does not end here because we have the strength to face the challenges ahead in Ligue 1, which is very open. Barcelona are one of the favourites and Thierry Henry was decisive in both games.

    • Josep Guardiola: (on Barcelona's 5-2 win against Lyon) We played well, very well. In the first half we did everything right, we defended and attacked well. In the second we began with some doubts but we improved within minutes. We had to go in search of the ball because we kept conceding possession and had to hold a higher defensive line. The supporters have had a good time and the players are happy. It is very important seeing the stadium full and witnessing a good show. We have quality players in midfield like Xavi and Iniesta, who moved the ball with great intensity. Furthermore, we paid close attention to Karim Benzema and did not concede any free-kicks near the penalty area for Juninho to exploit. It was a good performance but nothing more; we have not achieved anything. Now we have to recover physically and mentally. I have no preferred opponents in the next round; at this stage of the competition any team you draw is very strong and will be difficult to overcome.

    • Abel Resino: (on Atlético's 0-0 draw with Porto) The main objective was to reach half-time in a good position and then to try and win the tie in the second-half. However, we lacked the physical strength to achieve such a goal. Football is often cruel and we are out of the competition despite the fact we didn't lose a single match, while Porto lost two. If we had managed to score a goal here then Porto would have been forced to come forward and we could have taken advantage of that. That didn't happen and they were always very cautious. This was a completely different game compared to those against Barcelona and Real Madrid. Porto have great speed going forward with their three attackers and there's not a lot of Spanish teams that play like that. They were better than us in Madrid and tonight they didn't take any risks.

    • Jesualdo Ferreira: (on Porto's 0-0 draw with Atletico) I want to say a big thank you to my players and to our fans; the fans because they stood by our side for the entire match and the players because they did exactly what I asked them to do. We improved a lot after the break but we were better from start to finish. We were always in control and we were the only team really willing to win the match. We were once again unlucky in front of the goal and for me Atlético's goalkeeper was the man of the match, as he was in Madrid. We are among the eight best teams in Europe and that makes me very proud of my team. I was a bit surprised with the cautious way Atlético started the match but maybe that was their strategy. They showed they had learned their lesson in Spain and managed to improve defensively. We are even more confident now and I truly believe we can provide a challenge for anybody in the next round.

    • Paulo Bento: (on Sporting's 7-1 defeat by Bayern) We wanted to show that we're a different side than from the first leg but failed completely. Now we have to analyse this match and see what went wrong. Many players had major problems in both legs, and we've really learned the hard way. We could keep up with our rivals in the group stage but this round was very tough. We've shown that we're not as far down the road as we need to be; that we're not good enough yet. In the first leg we could look back on a few good moments but tonight there was absolutely nothing. The team lacked the right spirit and were anxious from the first minute – it was easy to see that the players had had nightmares after the 5-0 loss at the José Alvalade. Now we have to work together to put these horrible matches behind us.

    • Jürgen Klinsmann: (on Bayern's 7-1 win against Sporting) We were focused from the start and wanted to avoid conceding an unnecessary goal. Sporting must have realised from the outset that there was no chance of a turnaround, and our first two goals absolutely confirmed this. We played very well. The boys enjoyed the match. We're delighted with such a convincing victory in front of a great crowd – a perfect Champions League night. We're hoping for an attractive draw in the quarter finals. The team has already shown what it's capable of. At this stage there are no favourites – all matches are 50-50.

  • Notes

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