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PSV playing for more than pride, says Isaksson

Published: Monday 11 April 2011, 9.52CET
PSV Eindhoven may trail SL Benfica 4-1 going into their quarter-final second leg yet goalkeeper Andreas Isaksson is adamant that they still have plenty to play for on Thursday.
by Andy Brassell
from Lisbon
PSV playing for more than pride, says Isaksson
Andreas Isaksson insists PSV will show more fight on Thursday ©Getty Images

Tournament statistics

PSVBenfica

Goals scored19
 
15
Attempts on target62
 
48
Attempts off target62
 
54
Corners68
 
60
Offsides33
 
13
Fouls committed179
 
131
Yellow cards19
 
14
Red cards0
 
0

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Published: Monday 11 April 2011, 9.52CET

PSV playing for more than pride, says Isaksson

PSV Eindhoven may trail SL Benfica 4-1 going into their quarter-final second leg yet goalkeeper Andreas Isaksson is adamant that they still have plenty to play for on Thursday.

Goalkeeper Andreas Isaksson insists PSV Eindhoven are not yet ready to give up on their UEFA Europa League dream as they attempt to surmount a heavy quarter-final first-leg deficit against SL Benfica in the Netherlands on Thursday.

PSV were beaten 4-1 in Lisbon by the outgoing Portuguese Liga champions, a scoreline which could have been worse had Isaksson not made several important saves. Indeed, the Swedish international admits Fred Rutten's side were below-par last week. "We had some problems and we defended poorly, I think," he told UEFA.com. "We were not all 100%."

Isaksson particularly lamented his team's failure to make the most of substitute Zakaria Labyad's goal: the teenager scored with his first touch after 80 minutes, only for Javier Saviola to restore Benfica's three-goal cushion. "We were a bit sloppy," Isaksson said. "We pulled it back to 3-1 and then they scored again in the last minute. If we had kept it at 3-1, things would have looked a lot better for the home game."

Even so, the 29-year-old predicts that the Dutch Eredivisie title chasers will have no problem getting motivated for the return match, with pride sure to play a part. "We need to prove we can play better and to put pressure on them," he said. "We need to do our best. It's not an easy outcome [going into] the second game but we still have a chance, and we're going to fight for it."

Benfica's Maxi Pereira, meanwhile, sees little reason why his side should not go all the way to the Dublin final. "Of course we believe we can [win the competition]," the defender said. "We know we have a great team and a great squad, and we're very confident we can get to the final and win it. We have to go step by step, and though we've given ourselves a good opportunity in this tie there's still 90 minutes to go. We're confident, though."

The Uruguayan international right-back has recovered from the disappointment of losing the Liga crown to FC Porto, yet says that a possible all-Portuguese final against their domestic rivals is not Benfica's aim. "Of course it wasn't good," said the 26-year-old, "but we've got our heads up and this [UEFA Europa League] is our objective now. We can get our revenge against Porto next season."

Last updated: 11/04/11 15.28CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefaeuropaleague/season=2011/matches/round=2000131/match=2007727/prematch/focus/index.html#psv+pledge+fight

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