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Sérgio Conceição praised the good performance for FC Porto, only blemished by the lack of efficiency

Despite doing more than enough to win, FC Porto returns from Anfield Road without points (2-0) and without breaking the curse in England. After matchday five of the Champions League, Sérgio Conceição praised what he saw as “the best first-half against Liverpool”, when the Dragons created “three or four clear goal situations”, but were “ineffective in the attack”. The focus is now switched to the championship and to another match where the fans will be “the 12th player”: “For us, their support is fundamental. It will be very important on Sunday, against Vitória de Guimarães.”

Waste seen in away matches
“It was an unfortunate match, no doubt about it. We had matches in the past, against this team, where we weren’t competent. Tonight, we played a good match and were not very effective. In the attack, we were ineffective. In the three matches away, in Madrid, Milan and here, we always created clear goal situations, more than a handful where we could and should have scored. But that has to do with greatness and with the development of the players. Of course, that comes at a high price. When we create three or four clear situation, but don’t score... there’s a risk that what happened in the second-half will happen, a shot from a top player and a one-on-one situation with one of the best players in the world and we concede two goals. We started the second-half creating situations, with a clear chance from Matheus Uribe, and then we conceded one goal, with the second coming shortly after. It became much more difficult, although we never gave up and we were always looking for the goal that would reopen the match. That didn’t happen because we lacked effectiveness.”

Pepe’s injury and the lack of criteria
“I’m not saying it’s a curse, but something isn’t working in that sense. The first goal comes from a situation that is not a foul. In fact, if it were a foul, it would be for us. Luis Díaz wins the ball. I’m talking about this because the referee’s criteria widened, he let us play, there were lots of duels. I think he signalled 12 fouls for each team in a match with intensity, duels and situations where more fouls should have been called. The referee’s criterion was wide, except in that situation. From there, they were able to score, a shot from outside the area that opened the scoreboard and, in a way, made Liverpool’s life easier.”

FC Porto depending only of themselves
“For now, we will only look at the next match, against Vitória de Guimarães, which is extremely important in the championship. We’ll talk about that in due time. Obviously, it will be a final, we want to qualify to the knockout stage again, and that’s what we will be working on. For now, we’re only thinking about the match against Vitória.”

The 12th player
“In my first year, when we came here, they were cheered by the opposing fans. There’s an amazing movement for these very passionate supporters, some of the best supporters in the world. It’s in those moments, when they feel that you didn’t win because of this or that, and we’ve already analysed the match, but they were still there and, in the end, they gave the players their support. Their support is fundamental for us. It will be very important on Sunday, against Vitória. In due time, in the Champions League, we will need that 12th player that is our fans.”

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