Manager Shelley Kerr admitted Arsenal LFC were below par in the 1-0 quarter-final second-leg success at ASD Torres CF, whose game plan was punctured after just four minutes.
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Arsenal LFC manager Shelley Kerr reserved special praise for ASD Torres CF after the Gunners were made to work hard to earn a 1-0 second-leg win and seal their place in the last four of the UEFA Women's Champions League. "You don't always get what you deserve," was the mantra for counterpart Manuela Tesse and Torres forward Sylvia Fuselli, who both bowed out with their pride intact.
Niamh Fahey's fourth-minute goal secured the English capital club a 4-1 aggregate success and while Gemma Davison may be dreaming of the Stamford Bridge showpiece on 23 May, she remained steadfast in her commitment to caution before a semi-final showdown with VfL Wolfsburg or WFC Rossiyanka.
Manuela Tesse, Torres coach
We lacked concentration, conceding after four minutes following three consecutive corners. However, we kept going and played a great game, like we did in London. We gave it a good go and I'm very happy. It was the quarter-finals and we had our chances. The primary concern was not to concede too early and then take it calmly, looking for a goal and then maybe in the second half aim to build for a frenetic finale.
We've got to say Arsenal are a great team. When the draw was made, we knew we were not favourites. Maybe we need one or two years before we reach a semi-final or final.
We want a final with an Italian side, and it doesn't necessarily have to be Torres. We deserved more today. We only have four games like this a year and if we could play games with this intensity constantly, I think things could change very quickly.
Shelley Kerr, Arsenal manager
I think when you go away from home at this stage of the competition, you know you're going to have a battle but thankfully we got an early goal and the good performance in the first leg set us up nicely. We weren't particularly pleased with the way we played today, we know can play much better, but in saying that, you can't take anything away from Torres. They battled really well today and put us under pressure a lot of times in the game.
You have to hand it to our opponents today. They didn't allow us to play. We've got a talented group of players at Arsenal, it's never just about the 11 players who play. We know the players who come in can do a good job as well. I think you have to take it one game at a time and especially when you get to this stage of the competition, you know the opponents are going to be tough, so we're not looking too far ahead of ourselves.
Silvia Fuselli, Torres forward
We lacked the goal. Certainly, that's what was missing because I don't think the result tells the true story. We started with a deficit to make up so we had to take risks, but we conceded from a set piece and that's very disappointing. It was certainly a big blow, but then we tried all we could to score immediately. We lacked a bit of luck, a few centimetres at times. The positive is the fact we were able to compete with a side who are favourites to reach the final.
Elisabetta Tona, Torres defender
I think we could have played another half-hour and it still wouldn't have gone in. We played a great game, but they have gone through. We were practically always in their half and tried to impose ourselves, it's a shame we didn't score a goal to open up the game. We are more disappointed about the away game.
We should have avoided conceding three goals, but they are not your average team, they have won the Champions League already. We believed getting two goals was not impossible, but it's a pity we were unable to get even one. They sat back at 1-0 and maybe it would have been different if we had got the first goal.
Gemma Davison, Arsenal forward
I think everybody will be exhausted, the pitch was quite heavy. Playing on the wing is obviously demanding anyway, wherever you play. The centre midfielders do a really good job getting up and down the pitch and it's something I always have to work on in my game, and hopefully I did a good job today. I think when you get to this stage of the Champions League, it's always going to be difficult, but I think we got the result we deserved.
This season's going to be an interesting one for us and we have, in my opinion, a solid group of 16 players and we're ready for the challenge. We've got the FA Cup at the weekend and we turn our attention to that and take it one game at a time. The final being in London makes it an extra incentive to get there.
It would be great to be in the final in your own country, and the fact it's at Chelsea's ground. They are a massive team in England and obviously it's a massive incentive for us.