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Sérgio Conceição: “We played a worthy match”

Coach praised the good performance of the team and the response of those who haven’t played as often

A worthy match, that proved that the difference between FC Porto and Liverpool is not what was seen in the first leg of the Round of 16 of the UEFA Champions League.

After the tie in Anfield (0-0), this Tuesday night, for the second leg of the round, Sérgio Conceição was pleased with the response given by his players, reminding that everyone in the team is important to reach the main objectives, even those who haven’t played as often. And that really means everyone, including the players from the youth squads, whom the coach assured is keeping an eye on, reminding Diogo Dalot, Bruno Costa and Gonçalo Paciência, all called to face Liverpool tonight.

Worthy match, congratulations to the players
“I feel it was a worthy match for my team. With a few changes, as most of those who played today haven’t been called as much. I have to congratulate them, as only by working as they do can we get to these matches and give such a positive response. And there were a lot of positive aspects tonight. I only regret the unbalance of the first leg. I feel both teams deserved to have a decisive match here. But that was a bad day for us and the opponent took it well. This was a more balanced match, within the natural management Liverpool did and our changes as well. I have to praise Bruno Costa, Gonçalo Paciência, and Diogo Dalot: they come from our youth teams, which shows we are keeping an eye on what Folha is doing in the B team, and João Brandão in the Under19.”

Fair result
“In the first-half, we had one or two situations we could have finished better. In the second, Liverpool also had one or two chances to score, but so did we. It was a match where the tie is acceptable, but one where I have to praise the response of my players, as they made fewer mistakes than in the first leg.”

The team that gave the best guarantees was used
“Just as we had three positive results after losing to Liverpool, this tie won’t affect us in the slightest. We had some players with fatigue, who risked getting injured here, and I had to think of what is our main objective, the championship. I know you can’t prepare two matches at the same time, but, between one player that was limited and one feeling fine and working well, I chose the team that gave me the best guarantees for today.”

No comments other than about football
“I haven’t seen the news today. It was hard to watch at the hotel, to be honest, so I haven’t seen anything. I was too busy preparing for this match, but, on that matter [Paulo Gonçalves, legal assistant for Benfica, being held], I have no comments.”

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