UEFA Champions League

Season 3 Episode 11

Matchday 5 Group Stage (season 2007/08)

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Aired Unknown Nov 27, 2007 on Sky Sports

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  • Quotes

    • Gordon Strachan: (On Celtic's 2-1 win against Shakhtar) Just when you think you've seen it all, you can never work out what happens next. We lost a stupid goal, had two players stretchered off in the first half. But you win games with a big heart and my team have a big heart. Was it the best result? Perhaps, just for sheer guts and determination. We didn't give Shakhtar many chances at all and that was pleasing. I know how hard the players have to work and to perform in that kind of environment. It was tense, but the response was fantastic.

    • Mirko Slomka: (On Schalke's 0-0 draw with Valencia) It's a good result for us. We put together some good attacks and had chances but we were unable to take them. The game changed at the end. We had opportunities to counterattack but at the same time we had to be careful because we know that Valencia are dangerous. After the red card I felt that we were able to use the extra space well. At the moment I am not thinking about going through to the next round, though. I will watch tonight's game again and then decide how we go about facing Rosenborg in our last game. Hopefully we will be courageous in attack and nice and calm at the back.

    • Ronald Koeman: (On Valencia's 0-0 draw with Schalke) The second-half performance was one of the best the team has given this season. The only thing we didn't do was score a goal. It was hard going down to ten men but despite that we still had three good chances to Schalke's two. Hopefully we can now go on in the UEFA Cup. If so we will carry on fighting and give our all in the competition. It would never be the case that we would be satisfied concentrating on the league.

    • Erik Gerets: (On Marseille's 2-1 defeat by Besiktas) From a tactical point of view in the first half we didn't play well. Delgado was free to link up with Bobo in attack, but in the second half we chased the win. Yet in pursuit of the win we conceded and lost. I hope Marseille and Beşiktaş qualify from the group together and in the last game we need the support of our fans. We cannot make it without them. I had warned my players about the pressure from the Beşiktaş fans and in the first half it really affected them but that decreased as the second half wore on. We have played well in all our Champions League games but individual mistakes have let us down. I don't want to blame specific players but that's how it is.

    • Ertugrul Saglam: (On Besiktas 2-1 win against Marseille) Tonight was very important. We had to win and by getting three points we carried our qualification hopes into the last game. In previous games we haven't been successful and everyone was down but tonight we gave our fans reason to cheer. My players were highly motivated and I congratulate all of them. Mathematically all the teams in the group are still in with a shout and we know we have to beat Porto to qualify. We have already played them and know them now. We have the capacity to get three points from them and we'll do our best to do just that. It's nice to be in this position. The team have got points against Liverpool and Marseille so I'm sure they can do the same against Porto.

    • Takis Lemonis: (On Olympiacos 2-1 win in Lazio) This performance is the continuation of the games we played against Werder [Bremen] and Real Madrid. We wanted to slow down Lazio's tempo and we managed this with a great display, especially from our midfield. We were good at keeping our shape and we were always ready to hit back on the counterattack. After the draw I could never have imagined that we would arrive at the last game of the group with this scenario but my team has improved a lot this season. We have won away twice while last season it never happened. Obviously playing the last game at home [to Bremen] is an advantage and we will have all the time that is necessary to prepare for this decisive match. My players know exactly what they have to do, we can really achieve something important. The most important thing tonight is that we managed to react when we were 1-0 down and get the result we needed. Now we can only look forward to the next game; it will be a fantastic opportunity for us.

    • Delio Rossi: (On Lazio's 2-1 defeat by Olympiacos) These kind of games are decided by small details. We missed a couple of good opportunities to score the second goal while they scored when they had their chance. However they played better than us after equalising. They closed down every space in defence and were effective at counterattacks. They proved they have more experience than us at this level. We had though prepared well for this game, it was the game to win. It did not go as we expected but I have nothing to say to my players because they gave everything they had. Unfortunately we paid a high price after a bad mistake, when we allowed them to equalise soon after taking the lead. We are a very young side and we still have a big margin for improvement. However we will try to earn qualification at Madrid. We played very well against them in Rome and I think we deserved to win. I don't see why we can't win there. We will try to play our cards right until the end. Technically they are better than us but we never play bad games against the big teams.

    • Arsene Wenger: (On Arsenal's 3-1 defeat by Sevilla) I'm only upset that we lost the match, and I only want to talk about a football match between two great European teams. I don't regret changing my team because all my players can play at a top level and this was a great chance for them to get more European experience. We began well but after the second Sevilla goal we relaxed and then got weaker. They played physically and congratulations to them - they deserved to win. The important thing is to qualify, not to go unbeaten.

    • Manuel Jimenez: (On Sevilla's 3-1 win against Arsenal) Wenger is a fantastic coach, but Sevilla played a great game against prestigious opponents. We played at the level we reached during our best performances this season. We showed the right mentality and attitude; we didn't have the right attitude against Mallorca. The match in Prague will be a lot calmer, less exciting; I certainly hope so. We're only thinking about finishing top of the group, although Slavia will be difficult opponents.

    • Luciano Spaletti: (On Roma's 4-1 win in Dynamo Kyiv) Our lads played so well they deserved better than having to settle for second place in the group. We deserved to fight for first place but ManUtd played like they did and there is nothing we can do. I fielded Taddei to see how he would cope but he got tired quite quickly so I took him off, but there is nothing serious the matter with him. I have always said you need a squad of players capable of replacing those who are out. Roma have such a squad. You just have to find the right balance. It's not important who scored the first goal, what is important is that the team played well and produced the right result. Football is a team sport and individual achievements are not that important. The Manchester United match will not be easy for us because we have our honour to play for and must perform well in front of our fans. Today we won because we were trying hard, we were focused and approached the match with the right mentality.

    • Frank Rijkaard: (On Barcelona's 2-2 draw with Lyon) We played well, better than Lyon, but we've qualified and are top of the group - that's the most important thing. But we could have won tonight. Lyon have a good chance in Glasgow and I think that will be a great last match.

    • Alain Perrin: (On Lyon's 2-2 draw with Barcelona) I am disappointed for the players as they could have won the match which would have been good for the final game against Rangers. Of course, I would have preferred to have more points than Rangers - they will now play more defensively and I don't like that. We should not get deterred by the atmosphere in Glasgow and be very attentive on the counterattack. Barcelona are technically superior and when they get in front it's very difficult to get the ball back off them. We deserved to score our two goals, though. Juninho never gets nervous; he was a key player tonight and gave us the extra thing we needed to achieve this draw.

    • Paulo Bento: (On Sporting Lisbon's 2-1 defeat by ManUtd) It was a good game, much better for us in the first half of course. We scored two goals but only one of them was given, which was disappointing. In the second half we had problems getting our passing together and United put us under incessant pressure. They had four players up front. We struggled to get space and pass the ball. Manchester United have very good players and it is difficult to get through them. It's always frustrating to lose. We missed our first objective, which was staying in the Champions League but we are happy to achieve our second objective and reach the UEFA Cup, so we have done better than last season. We have surrendered three points late on in the last two games but we are happy with a UEFA Cup place. I don't believe that we will be favourites to win the UEFA Cup though. Cristiano Ronaldo had a great influence on both matches against us. He is very quick, one of hardest players to stop. I don't think we shall be short of offers for Miguel Veloso. When you consider the teams that are reported to be interested in him, I'm sure we will lose him.

    • Sir Alex Ferguson: (On ManUtd's 2-1 win against Sporting Lisbon) It was a marvellous goal by Cristiano Ronaldo. He can strike them well but that was a truly excellent goal. As far as the game was concerned, we just marginally won it. We weren't all that much better than Sporting but we increased the tempo in the second half and Cristiano settled it for us. It's important to win the group because when we go to AS Roma I'll be able to rest some players. One or two won't travel, but I'll still field a team that can win the match. Cristiano Ronaldo always wants to do well against his old club. He owes a lot to Sporting, respects that and has great admiration for the club. Cristiano was only 18 when he started playing European football. Now he's maturing - he does what we expect him to do.

    • Zico: (On Fenerbahce's 3-0 defeat by Inter) We played well only for 45 minutes when we were very well-balanced. We started the second half well and had a good chance through Alex. But then we conceded the first goal, we lost our calm and started to miss many easy passes. Against a team like Inter you risk conceding many goals if you play like that. They scored three and could have scored even more in the final part of the game. This game was important but not decisive, the decisive one is against CSKA in December. However we have to be calm and confident because we are in this situation only by our own merits and I think we can make the decisive step against CSKA. When you concede a goal you have to react because a match lasts 90 minutes, not 45. I think we have to play as we did in the first half today but then we didn't have to give up once we were 1-0 down.

    • Roberto Mancini: (On Inter's 3-0 win against Fenerbahce) It was a nice birthday gift from my team because it was not an easy game at all. We made it look easy at the end of the game but it was very difficult, at least until we scored the first goal. Fenerbahçe were very organised and are very good at keeping possession with their technically skilled players. It was very difficult to break through and everything changed only after breaking the deadlock. Alex is very difficult to mark because he moves a lot from attack to a deeper position, that's why I fielded Chivu in midfield so he could help the defenders when Alex was moving back. Ibrahimović had another great game even though he had flu. I'm very happy to have qualified with one game to play because now we can focus a bit more on the domestic league until February. It's also very good to finish first because it can be a small advantage in the knockout stage. I also want to congratulate Jiménez on his first goal in the UEFA Champions League. I will have to rest a few players against PSV but in our squad there is not much difference between players so we will go there to win the game. However I think Fenerbahçe will beat CSKA and will qualify regardless of our result.

    • Jan Wouters: (On PSV's 1-0 win in CSKA Moscow) We had some problems in defence in the first half. In the second we played better but in the final minutes we had some problems again. Generally we played quite well, this was a very important game, a chance for us to stay in the Champions League. The quality of play was influenced by the pitch but that was the same for both teams. There were some rumours that key CSKA players would be absent and we were ready to play different schemes depending on the situation.

    • Walter Smith: (On Ranger's 3-2 defeat by Stuttgart) Of course it was disappointing to lose in the end but I think we conceded a bad goal just before half-time that gave new impetus to Stuttgart. They started the second half strongly and went on to score another goal. I then have to give my players credit for coming back to equalise. Charlie Adam then had a chance to put us 3-2 up but we then had to change to go for the win near the end. But just as we did we lost another goal and that was it. It was an important game, but unfortunately we did not get the result we wanted. We now have an exciting night to look forward to against Lyon. If we show the same level of endeavour that we have shown throughout the competition, I will be pleased.

    • Armin Veh: (On Stuttgart's 3-2 win against Rangers) We said before the match that we owe it to ourselves, our fans and the other teams in the group to give it all we had today. I think we achieved that. Rangers sat deep in their own half, meaning that we had to be patient. We then conceded from a set-piece, which didn't make life easier for us. It was difficult, but we came back because we have more quality on the pitch now and are calmer in our game. We know that we are capable of creating, and if you have a run like ours in the Bundesliga at the moment, then you have the luck you need as well as the confidence, and that helped us to win in the end today. Given the possession we had, I think we fully deserved to win.

  • Notes

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