As the UEFA Europa League knockout stages begin to hot up, the tension is palpable, and the players of SL Benfica and FC Girondins de Bordeaux expect an intense round of 16 second leg in France after the Portuguese side's narrow win in Lisbon, secured by Cédric Carrasso's unlucky own goal. Home captain Luisão "always expected a difficult game" while Bordeaux's Fahid Ben Khalfallah said matching Benfica had provided a mental lift. The French team's star performer Ludovic Obraniak, meanwhile, predicted the home crowd at the Stade Chaban-Delmas "will give us a hand".
Luisão, Benfica defender
I think some people were of the opinion we would have an easier game, but that was an opinion that came from outside the team. We always expected a difficult game. Our responsibility, inside the team, was to deal with the difficulties we knew we were going to face. Bordeaux are a tough team to play.
Is it a dangerous result? A dangerous result would have been a draw or a defeat. If we'd won by three or four goals it would have been easy, but we won 1-0 so we're going there to battle out the second game. We won and we didn't concede – that's the most important thing.
Fahid Ben Khalfallah, Bordeaux midfielder
It's a shame not to have scored an away goal, because we had the chances. It was a fairly even game and we matched Benfica well. I think we deserved better than 1-0, and on top of that they scored a lucky goal, but there's still hope for the return match and we'll try to qualify at home.
My chance? Well, the goalkeeper made the save though maybe I could have put it over him, but that happens. We just lacked a clinical edge in front of goal and didn't make the most of dead balls. But mentally it's good for us to know we can match a team that were favourites when the draw was made and still are.
Ludovic Obraniak, Bordeaux midfielder
It was a good performance on our part, as much in the level of our play as in our spirit. It's a shame we didn't make the most of it in the end, as we had a lot of opportunities. All the same we were able to control the game and we knew how to give this team problems. It's a shame we didn't get the goal that would have made it easier for us in the return, but it's only 1-0.
It will be an open game, in front of our own crowd – it will be a great occasion and we have to go for it. We're counting on the Bordeaux fans to give us a hand in the return. Everything is possible at Chaban-Delmas. We showed we could do it against Kyiv, so why not against Benfica too?
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