Kelly Smith said the belief that Arsenal LFC garnered from an accomplished first-leg display in north London paved the way for their 6-4 aggregate defeat of 1. FFC Turbine Potsdam in the UEFA Women's Champions League round of 16 on Wednesday. The 34-year-old forward plundered a 30-minute treble, and although Potsdam rallied with three second-half goals, Elen Smith sealed Arsenal's progress to their 11th quarter-final in as many entries.
The result left defender Stephanie Houghton "extremely happy" and dreaming of a place in the Stamford Bridge showpiece, while Rachel Yankey paid tribute to a match that was "played at very high level".
Kelly Smith, Arsenal striker
I'm really pleased to have helped the team reach the quarter-finals. We wanted to prove that we're a strong team and we certainly did that by scoring four goals away from home. We have beaten one of the best teams in Europe and I'm absolutely delighted. Coming into the game we knew Potsdam were a really good team. Winning at home gave us the belief that we could repeat that performance today. The first half was perfect but after the break, Potsdam showed their quality. I'm really happy that the final will be played in London. It will again showcase the quality of the women's game.
Stephanie Houghton, Arsenal defender
It was a great match to watch for both sets of fans. In the first half we controlled proceedings and managed to score twice. Potsdam deserve credit for their performance after the break but luckily we regained our rhythm. I must admit I'm extremely happy. Domestically, we have won a lot of trophies but our main goal is to win the Champions League. Playing [the final] at Stamford Bridge will be a special motivation for us but there is still a long way to go.
Rachel Yankey, Arsenal winger
That was a football match played at a very high level. Watching it must have been an undoubted pleasure for the fans. My only regret is that I didn't play the whole match because it was such an amazing occasion. After conceding two goals we still believed and played our natural game. We are very happy to qualify and owe a lot to Kelly [Smith]. It was her first start after a long injury lay-off and she was fantastic.
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