Club Atlético de Madrid goalkeeper Sergio Asenjo said Thursday's 3-1 Group I win against Stade Rennais FC will play a crucial role in lifting team morale. Rennes striker Víctor Montaño, meanwhile, said the visiting side had learned a lot from their European experience this term, with midfielder Yacine Brahimi content they were exiting the competition with heads held high.
Sergio Asenjo, Atlético goalkeeper
We are delighted with the victory, it was an important one for different reasons. First, it helped us qualify as group winners, which means we avoid some very strong teams in the next round. The win also helped us recover some of the morale we had lost in the last couple of games. We now go into the next phase of the Europa League in the same frame of mind as we did the group stage. It gets harder but we will make sure we give everything to keep advancing. We will try to get as far as we can in all the competitions we play in.
Koke, Atlético midfielder
Our goal was to go through as group winners and we've done that so we're pleased. Away from home things aren't working out for us this season but the opposite can be said of our home form. The win has helped to restore belief. We now want to take the game to our opponents in the next round – let's see who we get in the draw. We know we'll avoid [fellow] top seeds Manchester United and Manchester City in the round of 32. We know we have to take it game by game but the target is to reach the final. It doesn't matter who we get, we have to win.
Víctor Montaño, Rennes forward
The difference between tonight's game and the 1-1 draw in Rennes was that at home we had the chances to win. We weren't clever enough to see that game through so we eventually drew, which felt more like a defeat. Tonight you could see the difference between the sides. Atlético were very strong and controlled possession really well. They have some great players who knew how to take advantage of our mistakes. Looking at the campaign overall, we have learned a lot – we are a young team. We showed some good things but results didn't go our way. We hope to qualify again and do better next year.
Yacine Brahimi, Rennes midfielder
We knew it was going to be difficult coming here and playing against Atlético but we did what we could and we leave with heads high and an experience that will help us in the future. We are a young team and tonight our motivation was to learn. We'd like to finish the season in the top five in France – that's our goal now.
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