A stroke of luck ensured that SL Benfica made it to the UEFA Europa League round of 32 despite a 2-1 home defeat by FC Schalke 04, but while Olympique Lyonnais's late equaliser against Hapoel Tel-Aviv FC kept the Portuguese champions' European hopes alive, coach Jorge Jesus felt some justice had been done. Schalke boss Felix Magath, meanwhile, feels a UEFA Champions League last-eight place is within reach for his improving side as they finished top of Group B.
Jorge Jesus, Benfica coach
Our priority was to win, get nine points and qualify [for the round of 32]. It was important to win and we played to win. We didn't play well in the first half, but in the second we were more dynamic, improved our game and had some chances. There was more space and it was easier to play but we ended up losing.
I didn't think we deserved to lose, but Schalke are a good team.
We are through to the Europa League because Hapoel drew, but I never wanted to know the result of the other match. That's football, though; some teams win, some lose. We ended up benefiting from the efforts of others and we will play in the Europa League.
Felix Magath, Schalke coach
We did as well as we could have done in the group stage and now we need a little bit of luck in the draw. A quarter-final place is definitely a possibility for my team.
At the start of the season we had some problems, but we are slowly shaking those off, and now we are in the situation where we are capable of beating a good side away from home. Our defence did not allow them any good chances in the first half, which is really good. In the second half, Benfica did press quite a lot and we looked a bit shaky at times, but altogether I am very pleased.
We play a little more defensively away, which is why it is more difficult for a poacher like Raúl [González] when we are on our travels, but then again he set up our first goal today for [José Manuel] Jurado beautifully.
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