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Sérgio Conceição talked of the good performance of his team and criticised the refereeing team

In match 35 for the Champions League in blue and white, the record in FC Porto’s history, Sérgio Conceição started by explaining that it was “difficult to analyse” the match and highlighted that the result was “completely misleading”, as FC Porto deserved to leave Madrid “with a victory”. In a match where “luck” was important, the different status of the teams at European level also had an influence: “The weight we have in Europe, despite being the third most present team in this competition, doesn’t show. We are still small compared to other powers and other realities”. The second Atlético de Madrid scored, according to the coach, came on minute 100 and 20 seconds, when the fourth referee had already told the blue and white bench that “time was up”.

Analysis to a good performance and a misleading result
“It’s a difficult match to analyse. A completely misleading result, for what we did, in every moment of the match, we deserved to leave with a victory. We had already created situations to be ahead of the scoreboard, they shot for the first time 42 minutes into the second-half, a strange shot, the ball deflecting and fooling Diogo. We went after the tie, it was completely deserved for what my players did the entire match, for the way we blocked Atlético and it showed. Their fans protesting against their team, Diego without many solutions in the substitutions for what was happening. We scored the goal, the fourth referee told me that they were going to give one more minute after the nine of stoppage time and the goal was scored 10 minutes and 20 seconds in, that is, stoppage time on top of stoppage time, I don’t understand. Ten seconds and it was a corner, the referee had told me that the time was over. If it ended when the ball crossed the goal, it could have ended before they took the corner. The weight we have in Europe, despite being the third team with the most participations in this competition, doesn’t show. We’re still tiny compared to other powers and other realities.”

Otávio’s medical situation and luck in the match
“We still don’t know Otávio’s situation. He’s a key player in our match dynamics, it’s not that the others that went in were bad, but he’s experienced, with a good mindset for this competition, it was different. Everything that could go wrong went wrong. I don’t like to talk about luck, because that comes from hard work. This was perhaps the match where luck had more relevance than in any other I’ve had in this competition.”

The response, even outnumbered
“A match that was strategically well prepared, and read fantastically by the players. Maybe we could have been a bit more assertive at the end. There’s a play I remember with a counter-attack, when it was 1-1 and Toni Martínez didn’t decide well, he shot when he had teammates open. We had situations, even outnumbered. It seems that I guessed it, in a way, so much so that in the pre-match conference, I talked about the refereeing team. We deserved to win. We weren’t lucky enough for the referee to go well. They talk to each other, if they are correct and intellectually honest they should reveal what they told me before Atlético’s winning goal.”

The choice between Pepê and João Mário
“Pepê defends well. I have the same confidence in João. My decision was for Pepê. The rival has experienced players and we have youngsters. We know what the path is, there are difficulties, but we are here to work on that. Today we deserved the victory.”

A club without any support in their own country
“It’s not the first time, there have been a few episodes in this competition where you can feel it [the difference in status]. We are the third team with the most participations in the Champions League, but it doesn’t show. It was important in Portugal, but I know that everything that isn’t FC Porto will be used in Portugal to criticize, to bash, to not talk about the good performance we had here and talk about Taremi instead, and the numbers. We don’t value our product. I had some players that came from the B team, three made their Champions League debut. In our little Portugal of good things, they will talk about Taremi and the defeat. That’s what I have to say.”

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