Bayern take a slim 1-0 win away to Lisbon while Barcelona came from behind to beat Atletico Madrid 2-1 for the third time this season. What did the managers say after the game?
RUI VITORIA HOPING FOR A GREAT PERFORMANCE IN LISBON
The game went as we expected. I am proud of my players – we played really well here. Of course we had our problems but in the end we played quite well. Of course I am not too happy with the result, but overall we played really well and we followed our strategy.Four or five thousand fans from Benfica were here. They were very important for us, so thanks to the fans – I was very happy to have them here. Next week we will have around 60,000 behind us. We are looking forward to it.To concede an early goal here wasn’t in the plan. But nevertheless we played well and that early goal did not kill our confidence. We were able to cause some problems for Bayern and we might even have deserved a goal. Everything is still open, we have a second match next week and we will give it our best again.I guess we did not surprise our opponents, but probably the Bayern fans. I guess they expected clear dominance and more goals from their team.Of course we will miss Jonas [suspended for the second leg], but another player will get his chance. It is not about indviiduals, it is all about the team.
PEP HAILS RIBERY AND VIDAL, BUT WANTS VICTORY IN LISBON
It was a hard game but I am happy with our performance. I know very well the quality that Benfica have. A big compliment to my team. Ribéry was extraordinary today. Vidal is very important too – he is a great character, he has shown this during the last month.In the quarter-finals the more important game is always the second leg, which we will play in Lisbon. It all depends on how we play in Lisbon. We could have lost this game. I have watched a lot of Benfica matches in recent days – they are really strong, they always try to get the second ball.I was not surprised about their game, it is not easy to play them. They are good from set pieces. But we had some really good chances to score more goals.Of course we want to win in Lisbon now. We want to score one or two goals there. There are no favourites – favourites are normally the team with the better stats but this does not count for anything. It all depends on the match next week in Portugal.
ENRIQUE HAILS SUAREZ, BELIEVES RAFINHA’S RETURN IS FANTASTIC FOR THE RUN-IN
To play against Atlético, you have to be very precise and have good tempo, positioning and ball control. Maybe we didn’t have that in the first half. Atlético created a very good chance in the first half and, combined with our mistake, it enabled them to score.The sending-off changed the game. At half-time we tried to talk about controlling the pace and attacking Atlético as a team rather than individually. In the second half the fans enjoyed themselves, I think. We managed to keep Atlético close to their box.I’m happy with the performanace and happy to win again. Some people, not in the team obviously, could perhaps have been scared [when we went 1-0 down] but these players have a lot of confidence. We are looking forward to playing at the Calderón.Since I got here we have always thought one game at a time. We want to win at the Calderón and that’s the only result that’s good for us. With this attitude and these players we can go anywhere.We thought we had lost Rafinha for the season [when he got injured at Roma in September] but the medical team here is top-class. It is marvellous we can count on him again. He can score goals, control the ball and play in tight spaces. Having him back was, apart from the win, the highlight of the night.It was difficult for Suárez tonight, because he was always playing against two centre-backs. That is why it was important for our players on the wing to stay out wide. Suárez brings a work-rate and character to this team – not just goals. He has integrated himself in a special way. You could say he is half-Catalan.
SIMEONE PROUD OF CHARGES, HOPEFUL OF GIVING IT ALL AT THE CALDERON
I feel proud of my players and I’m happy to work with a team that give their lives in every game. They can come back from any situation. Any trees in the way, they try to jump over. They don’t look for excuses. Antoine Griezmann almost made it 2-0. We played really well until the sending-off. Of course Barcelona had lots of chances in the second half and they cornered us in our area. It was difficult to get out. My players are really strong. They want to keep defending this shirt. We are alive. They had their chances and they could perhaps have scored more, but they didn’t so that generates some expectations and gives hope to us and the fans who will come to the stadium next week. We always feel strong. We will try to give everything and all the players will give their best. It is very difficult to reach the semi-finals, but we will give it our all. We will probably feel this extra effort from today on Saturday. When I see the lads in the dressing room, they are all happy to play for this team. We need to find the best way to make the most of what we have done so far.