Sevilla FC forward Frédéric Kanouté was delighted to score on his return to Tottenham Hotspur FC but insisted the fact his team had progressed to the UEFA Cup semi-finals gave him more pleasure.
'Had to do something'
The Malian international, who spent two seasons with Tottenham prior to his move to Sevilla in summer 2005, added to his penalty in last week's first leg by registering in the eighth minute at White Hart Lane. He produced some exceptional close control to evade goalkeeper Paul Robinson and score the UEFA Cup holders' second of the night after Steed Malbranque's early own goal. "Back on this pitch, I had to do something and it was really nice to score again here," Kanouté said. "I'm happy because I've done what I wanted to, both personally and for the team, so I'm pleased with that."
'Made it easy'
Kanouté's strike left Tottenham needing to score four times to stay in the competition and, although Jermain Defoe and Aaron Lennon netted in quick succession midway through the second half, Sevilla held on in relative comfort to reach the last four. "We made it easy tonight," he said. "We underestimated Tottenham in the first game but tonight we knew we were playing a very good team so we had to play at our best and that's what we did. Tottenham are a very strong team, they showed that in the second half especially, but we were a bit cleverer than them and that's what made the difference."
The visitors' early flurry seemed to catch Tottenham by surprise, and Kanouté confirmed that such an approach had always been Sevilla's intention. "We wanted to score early, we didn't want to wait and see what they would do. We had won the first game 2-1 and maybe Tottenham thought we would wait and protect the result, but we wanted to play on the counterattack and score early and we did just that. We didn't play very well in the first leg and we wanted to show something better tonight. Last week we underestimated Tottenham and today we played much better and I'm happy because I reminded them that I can play football."
Sevilla face fellow Spanish side CA Osasuna in the semi-finals and, with the Primera División and Copa del Rey still to play for, there is every chance the Andalusian club will be celebrating come June. Kanouté refused to look that far ahead, however, saying: "We know Osasuna well but it will be a different situation when we play them in Europe. We're at a very dangerous moment right now because everything is going so well and we're still fighting in three competitions - yet we can still lose everything. As long as we keep showing the same desire, I'm confident things will go well. We have more desire to win than ever now."
©UEFA.com 1998-2015. All rights reserved.