Sporting Club de Portugal defender Xandão was grateful that his 24th birthday wish for a win against Legia Warszawa came true, even though goalscorer Matías Fernández admitted the 1-0 victory was "not vintage". The visiting players, meanwhile, pointed to the performance in the first leg as the reason they have missed out on a plum UEFA Europa League round of 16 encounter with Manchester City FC.
Xandão, Sporting defender
We knew the difficulties that we were facing despite playing at home. Legia are a very physical team with tall players but we managed to play our game. We worked well with the ball and in the end we were rewarded with a goal and this important victory.
I don't agree that it was a weak performance. We tried to score quickly, we didn't and we had to hold on. We couldn't just attack without also worrying about the defence. My wish was for a win today and the team gave me that present. I am happy because we have won and gone through to the next stage of the Europa League, which was the most important thing.
We know we have a hard task ahead against Manchester City but in an important competition like the Europa League you can't choose your opponents. They are all difficult at this stage. The important thing was to do our bit at this stage, whether we played Manchester City next or Porto. We'll try to surprise them. We are ready to fight.
Matías Fernández, Sporting midfielder
It was not a vintage performance but the most important thing was that we achieved our goal, which was reaching the next round, and we are very pleased about that. It will be a great match against Manchester City. They are doing well in the Premier League and have knocked out Porto. We need to prepare really well for that big duel.
Danijel Ljuboja, Legia forward
I think we played well. It was mostly the home leg ‒ when we conceded the second goal [in the 2-2 draw] in the last five minutes ‒ that cost us dearly. That's what made the difference. Here the match was finely balanced and at times we even were better than them. We had our chances and I feel sorry for the whole squad. Now we have to lift our heads. We have the league left to focus on and work hard on winning.
Jakub Wawrzyniak, Legia defender
We conceded a goal similar to the one we let in in Warsaw and we didn't have much luck. We knew that we had to score at least once without conceding, but if you want to find reasons for our defeat they can be found in the first leg. I think that's why we won't be facing Manchester City in the next round.
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