After their exceptional UEFA Champions League encounter ended all square, Real Madrid CF's Iker Casillas and Pepe said they were still confident their team could top Group D despite currently lying second while Borussia Dortmund's Mats Hummels and Robert Lewandowski told UEFA.com they would look to defend the section lead in the games to come.
Iker Casillas, Madrid goalkeeper
It seems we are getting used to something which we shouldn't be as we struggled a bit again here at the Santiago Bernabéu. This, however, is a competition of great teams and of great players. I am happy with the draw and also with how things ended between Manchester City and Ajax. We knew that if we had won today it would have meant a big step towards qualifying but we must take the positives. We have managed to save something from a game when we were behind.
There is one game less to play and it is still down to us [in terms of advancing]. We're only one point behind Dortmund so we are still going to fight for top spot. Our group is a difficult one that contains important teams. Our opponents tonight were very good in both games we played against them. It's strange that in Germany they [are fifth in the standings] whereas in Europe they are playing like that. In the first half tonight they controlled the ball better and managed to get through to our area. We went looking for the equaliser in the second half and it eventually came. We hardly conceded a chance after the break so I think that the draw tonight is fair.
Pepe, Madrid defender
I am very happy with my goal and in general with our teamwork. We made a big effort but the result didn't go our way. We still have our chances to get through. This is a tough group, everyone knows that, yet we still have an opportunity to qualify in top spot. We have to keep going game by game and in the end we'll see where we are.
Mats Hummels, Dortmund defender
Of course we're disappointed to have conceded so late from a free-kick that Mesut [Özil] did well with. The outcome is a little bit disappointing for us but if someone had said beforehand we'd get a point at the Santiago Bernabéu, we'd have taken that. Our defence was good tonight and we ran a lot, and although you always need a little bit of luck I thought we scored two good goals. We knew Madrid's weak points and how we could score against them. In the second half they were far more aggressive and put a lot of pressure on us and we had too many problems. After 80 minutes I thought we would get through to the end but Mesut destroyed the dream.
Our fans are crazy; they made another team's stadium their own tonight. It's cool how many of them come to support us. We want to give them more games like today's so they can continue to show us how good they are. We need one point in Amsterdam now to get through the group. Had we won we would have been a safe second in the section. A sad ending perhaps but we want to win against Ajax or at least at home against Manchester City and get through to the next round.
Robert Lewandowski, Dortmund striker
It was a difficult game for us. The final score reads 2-2 and while a point is not nothing, it's not everything either. We are still first and need to continue putting in a lot of effort because we need three points to qualify. I was pleased to emerge as the UEFA.com Player Rater winner but I felt it was a difficult match in which I had to compete hard against Sergio Ramos and Pepe. The next game at home to Manchester City is obviously important for us. I have no idea if we will qualify. What I do know is that no matter who we come up against we always have to improve on our last performance in order to take maximum points. If we win our remaining two matches we will go through as group winners.
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