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Sérgio Conceição showed determination after the tie at home against Benfica (1-1), for matchday 14 of the championship

FC Porto tied 1-1 against Benfica at Estádio do Dragão, for matchday 14 of Liga NOS. In a “very competitive match, with above average intensity”, Sérgio Conceição stated that the national champions had “more chances in the first-half to reach the break in the lead” and regretted that Taremi was sent-off, as “things got more difficult” after that. Aware of the many battles coming and of what the team “needs to do and improve”, the blue and white coach was fully convinced that the Dragons will “fight hard to win this championship”.

Tough match for everyone
“My first thought is that it was a difficult match for all three teams. Still, it was a very competitive match, with above average intensity, split in terms of occasions to score; we had more chances in the first-half to reach the break in the lead. They are trying to give a different image of the match. But the data shows that we had two or three occasions to score and they had that ball on the post. In the second-half we tried to correct some things that we were not doing well, especially in our first moment of pressure. Once or twice, Benfica managed to move up with some ease and after that moment, when Mehdi (Taremi) is sent-off, things got more difficult. And now I have to say something about the match in Madeira, as, when we were down to ten, you have to remember many of our players on the pitch had played for 120 minutes earlier in the week. And still Marega was the one that had a clear opportunity to win the match, which was difficult for us, for Benfica and for the refereeing team. We lost two points.”

Pleased with the group
“It was a tactically rich game, Benfica tried to defend with Grimaldo and Nuno Tavares on the left, two fullbacks, as they know our right wing is very strong, with Corona and Marega always cutting outside from there. Unlike what the opposing coach said, Marega and Corona played well, my players are to be congratulated.”

“This match may boost the ego of one or another person of the opposing team, but not to us, because, at FC Porto, we want to win these matches. It was the fifth classic against Benfica that we didn’t lose and we want to continue. We always go in to win, we are very competitive and our inner strength is that FC Porto soul we talk about, and we want to keep it. Those who work here know what I’m talking about. You can’t explain it, you feel it.”

“It’s not fair to talk about Otávio when other players were on the pitch and played a good match.”

“The championship is long, we are aware of what we have to do and improve. We are aware of the group we have and we will look at the numbers in May. We are fully convinced that we will fight hard to win this championship.”

Argument with Jorge Jesus
“Normal talks in football, I’m not pleased with the tie, but the opposing coach certainly seems pleased with it, judging by what he said here. Everything is fine, it’s normal.”

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