In the aftermath of Saturday's tie (1-1), against Desportivo das Aves, Sérgio Conceição admitted that, for the group, “tying is the same as losing”, but the coach is already thinking of Friday's classic (20h30) against Benfica. In the quick interview and in the press room, the coach recalled that the Dragons are still in the lead of Liga NOS, and didn’t hide from controversy, especially regarding the play that had Danilo, in stoppage, being tackled for a penalty.
What lacked for the victory?
“Objectively, what lacked was that the referee should have signalled a penalty on that play. Besides that, in the first-half, although we were ahead, we weren’t as good as we have been and how we prepared to be. There were a few things missing, especially in terms of possession and passing. Desportivo das Aves had this or that situation in which they managed to create danger, always waiting for our mistake, in a low block.”
Sent-off and goal for Aves
“In the second-half, there is the moment when Corona was sent-off. It is always better to play with 11 in the team, I think we reacted well to this situation, but we don’t have to react, we have to act. We have to start as we did in the second-half, or most of it, and we didn’t. There are one or two plays that will be controversial, but we should have done more to win the match today.”
Motivation of the opponent
“Desportivo das Aves was very motivated, I saw the bench and the players celebrating as if it were the Champions League final. It must be because we're in the Champions League and because their coach said we are fighting for it. I hope they always fight like this, with the commitment and determination they had today.”
Responsible for the result
“It wasn’t easy, even with boots suitable for this wet pitch, players were slipping all the time and many of the situations had to do with this, as when Felipe lost his balance. I felt that our first stage of construction didn’t need so many people, and there was a lack of players between their midline and the defensive line, we were creating few problems for them. We started to improve with time, we are to blame for this tie and so is a bad moment for the referee and the video referee, as neither saw a penalty that, in my opinion, seems clear on Danilo.”
Analysis to the moment
“We remain unbeaten and in the first place. Regardless of the outcome for our rivals, we will remain in the lead and approach the next match as another final, as we always do. Soares, Marega and Otávio have been working, at all levels, to join the team at any moment. At this point, everyone is practically recovered, which is good for the near future. We don’t like to tie, for us tying is the same as losing, we are not used to it and we will definitely react against Benfica. We play at home and we really want to win it.”