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Panathinaikos take pride after fall

Published: Tuesday 10 March 2009, 23.50CET
Panathinaikos FC coach Henk ten Cate said his team can depart the UEFA Champions League with "our heads held high" despite Villarreal CF leaving Athens with a 2-1 win that Manuel Pellegrini believes was fully deserved.
Panathinaikos take pride after fall
Diego Godín keeps Panathinaikos striker Vangelis Mantzios at bay ©Getty Images

Match statistics

PanathinaikosVillarreal

Goals scored1
 
2
Attempts on target4
 
5
Attempts off target5
 
4
Corners6
 
3
Offsides3
 
1
Fouls committed18
 
20
Yellow cards0
1
Red cards0
 
0

Standings

 
Published: Tuesday 10 March 2009, 23.50CET

Panathinaikos take pride after fall

Panathinaikos FC coach Henk ten Cate said his team can depart the UEFA Champions League with "our heads held high" despite Villarreal CF leaving Athens with a 2-1 win that Manuel Pellegrini believes was fully deserved.

Panathinaikos FC coach Henk ten Cate said his team departed the UEFA Champions League with "our heads held high" after Villarreal CF came away from Athens with a 2-1 victory that took them into the quarter-finals. Manuel Pellegrini said their win was "deserved" thanks to their superiority over both legs and their strong attacks down the flanks.

Henk ten Cate, Panathinaikos coach
I wouldn't say the result was a failure. These were two very difficult encounters against a great team, very tough matches for both sides. At this level minor details make all the difference. Their two goals tonight came from our mistakes and at this level, you pay dearly for your errors. I can't complain about my players, they did everything they could. Tonight, it just wasn't enough. Especially for the second goal, we left three players unmarked. It's a small error, but they killed us with that.

In the first half tonight, we had more possession and most of the pressure. But in the second half we should have played more with our heads and not only with our hearts. We should be more intelligent and that is something we weren't, especially in the second goal when we conceded. But that's a lack of experience. When we started our UEFA Champions League adventure this season more than 80 per cent of our squad hadn't played in this competition. Since then, we have improved a lot as a team, we managed to win our group, recorded great away victories in Milan and Bremen and played well in general. We exit with our heads held high; we are proud of our Champions League campaign.

Manuel Pellegrini, Villarreal coach
I am very happy with our victory. It's very important for us to be among the eight best teams in Europe. It was a deserved qualification, bearing in mind that we were also the better team in the first leg. Our performance in the second half today was as it should be and it paid off. The first half was more even, but after the interval we moved our lines forward and put pressure on Panathinaikos. Our method of attacking was the one you saw tonight on the pitch, charging along the flanks, especially down the left; we were very dangerous and ultimately successful.

Last updated: 11/03/09 0.38CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefachampionsleague/season=2009/matches/round=15277/match=302798/postmatch/quotes/index.html#panathinaikos+take+pride+after+fall

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