Despite a record-breaking 10-3 UEFA Europa League quarter-final aggregate victory against FC Spartak Moskva, FC Porto midfielder Cristian Rodríguez accepts there is a lot more work to do if they are to claim the trophy.
For the second successive game the Portuguese champions put five goals past their Russian opponents, with Thursday's 5-2 triumph setting up a last-four encounter with Villarreal CF on 28 April and 5 May. Rodríguez, who scored the second at the Luzhniki Stadion, said: "We are really happy with the way we played and as expected we will be facing Villarreal in the semi-finals and that promises to be a very tough game."
Porto had travelled to Moscow knowing that, after last week's 5-1 home win, only an utter lack of concentration could stop them progressing. Right from the first whistle André Villas-Boas' charges were disciplined and they never looked back once Hulk broke the deadlock in the 28th minute.
There was no way we could be complacent coming into today's game," continued Uruguay winger Rodríguez. "We are professionals and I play for a top club and we always have to respect our opponents. Therefore we approach every match the same way."
The visitors turned on the style in the second half, with Fredy Guarín adding a third immediately after the break and Falcao increasing his tally as the competition's top scorer to 11 on 54 minutes. Rúben Micael had the last word near the end, leaving Spartak winger Aiden McGeady to bemoan lax marking in both legs as the cause of his side's undoing.
Of course we were up against it as we came into the game 5-1 down but we created some good chances and we scored a couple of goals and could have had more," Irish international McGeady said. "But if you don't keep things tight at the back you don't really have any chance of winning."
Hoping to emulate their UEFA Cup conquest of 2003, the two-time European champions will advance to an all-Portuguese UEFA Europa League final against either Rodríguez's former team SL Benfica or SC Braga in Dublin on 18 May if they defeat Villarreal.
But the 25-year-old refused to look beyond their Spanish opponents. "It's going to be a very hard match, but I think it will be a very good tie for the spectators, as both sides like to play good football," he said.
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