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Beşiktaş JK had no arguments after a 3-0 home defeat confirmed their exit from the UEFA Europa League round of 16 at the hands of Club Atlético de Madrid, whose goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois and defender Filipe Luis had reason for considerable optimism as they looked ahead to the quarter-finals.
Thibaut Courtois, Club Atlético de Madrid goalkeeper
We came to Istanbul knowing we could beat Beşiktaş but also knowing they scored an away goal, which is always important in this sort of competition. And everybody knows playing in Istanbul can be tricky. But we played a very mature game, and from the moment we scored the away goal, I felt the game was ours. We created several chances and at the same time defended quite well, and that is what makes Atlético a big team. And by scoring three goals tonight, and six in the tie, nobody can say we did not deserve to qualify. Having eliminated both Lazio and Beşiktaş, we have proved Atlético really can go a long way in this tournament. With the two Manchester teams out, anything is possible in this year's UEFA Europa League. All the teams left have an equal chance of winning the trophy.
Filipe Luis, Club Atlético de Madrid defender
It wasn't an easy game. The UEFA Europa League is a very hard competition and playing in Istanbul is always a challenge. The crowd gets right behind the home team and can be quite intimidating, but we played a perfect game. I'm happy to be in the quarter-finals with Atlético but I want to go all the way to the final. I know it's going to be be difficult. The teams left at this stage are all big teams but we believe in ourselves. I took a brief look at the other results and I noticed the two Manchester teams are out, yet whatever team we face now will be difficult to beat. I don't have a preference but I do hope we can avoid the Spanish sides.
Tomáš Sivok, Beşiktaş JK defender
We are looking back at a very disappointing game from our point of view. Of course, our intention was to get the first goal, and we built up some pressure, but they played it really cool. In the end they did what we were supposed to do and got the first goal. In the second half we had some problems getting our act together, them playing a very smart game, and in the end the 3-0 result speaks for itself. We can't say it was a succesful evening for Beşiktaş but I have to congratulate Atlético. They are going through to the quarter-finals and they fully deserve it. They were the better team.
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