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Beaten Bordeaux acknowledge Benfica's quality

Published: Friday 15 March 2013, 8.16CET
"We were playing a very good team," said Cheick Diabaté after FC Girondins de Bordeaux missed out on the last eight to SL Benfica, for whom Jardel sounded an ambitious note.
by Chris Burke
from Stade Chaban-Delmas
Published: Friday 15 March 2013, 8.16CET

Beaten Bordeaux acknowledge Benfica's quality

"We were playing a very good team," said Cheick Diabaté after FC Girondins de Bordeaux missed out on the last eight to SL Benfica, for whom Jardel sounded an ambitious note.

FC Girondins de Bordeaux's players were left to highlight SL Benfica's quality after suffering a 3-2 second-leg loss that confirmed the Portuguese club's progress to the UEFA Europa League quarter-finals. Although forward Nicolas Maurice-Belay emphasised that the hosts "couldn't convert our chances", he was quick to praise the "experience" of Benfica's two-goal substitute Óscar Cardozo, while Cheick Diabaté added: "We were playing a very good team." Meanwhile, the visitors' other scorer on the night Jardel warned that his side are "aiming to win every competition we're involved in".

Nicolas Maurice-Belay, Bordeaux forward
We were already a goal down from the first leg and we knew that if we conceded another one we'd have to score three. That's why we wanted to put pressure on them from the start, but unfortunately we couldn't convert our chances. After that, we let in a goal which took the wind out of our sails a bit, but we carried on trying to score and make the difference. We managed that, but each time they scored immediately afterwards.

Cardozo is an experienced player, like all the Benfica players. That's what made the difference over the two games. We had more chances than them over both legs, but they put more of them away because of their experience.

We leave the competition with a lot of positives, though. People told us they didn't believe in us and we proved them wrong by going further than any other French team. What's bizarre is that we haven't played like this in the league, but maybe now we're out of the Europa League we'll have enough energy to put in the same kind of performance at home.

Cheick Diabaté, Bordeaux forward
The problem was that we lost the first leg and unfortunately that made it more difficult for us to do something. If we'd got a result in the first leg, it would have been easier for us in this game.

I think Bordeaux played very well. We tried to keep our shape and you have to remember that we were playing a very good team. They created chances and scored, and it was a difficult match, but we tried to give everything we had. It went badly for us tonight but we need to try to win our next game against Toulouse.

Jaroslav Plašil, Bordeaux midfielder
We played a solid game with a lot of desire and attacking intent, but we conceded the first goal too quickly and that killed us a little bit. We managed to equalise and started to believe again, but then we conceded the second. After that, it was basically mission impossible as we would have had to score four of five.

The performance was reassuring, given the high level of the competition, and it would be good to be able to repeat it over the rest of the season. You could see that everyone was hungry and everyone was fighting for each other; that's what's important, even if we were a bit wasteful. It's a good sign for the future.

Jardel, Benfica defender
We had a goal in mind, which was to qualify. We managed to win a match that we knew in advance would be very difficult. Bordeaux are a very strong team, but I was fortunate enough to score the first goal and things were a little bit easier for us after that. We were calmer after the goal and completely deserved the victory.

The coach has been very good in how he's rotated the team. He gives minutes to all the players and all my colleagues are up to the task. We have a great team and we are aiming to win every competition we're involved in.

Last updated: 15/03/13 13.58CET

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