After progressing to the UEFA Women's Champions League quarter-finals with a 5-2 aggregate victory against FC Malmö, VfL Wolfsburg defender Luisa Wensing and coach Ralf Kellermann credited an improved second-leg display as the key to success.
The holders were fortunate to come away from Sweden with a 2-1 win on Saturday but there was no doubting the result in the home return, especially after Wensing crashed in a rare headed goal to double Wolfsburg's advantage in the first half. Both player and coach expressed their preference to avoid Olympique Lyonnais and 1. FFC Turbine Potsdam in the next round, while Malmö coach Jonas Eidevall was left ruing his team's lack of efficiency.
Luisa Wensing, Wolfsburg defender
People know I'm good in the air and I always enjoy going forward for corners. It's nice that one of my headers finally went in. It's been a while so I'm all the more delighted, but ultimately I'm just pleased we won the game and progressed.
Obviously, we weren't too happy with our first-leg performance. We knew we had to do better and I think we managed that well in the first half. The first goal was very important, even if it was a bit lucky. That gave us confidence and I'm glad I got the second – that gave us even more confidence.
Of course we'd like to avoid Lyon, if they get through, Potsdam, Tyresö and Barcelona. Those are all teams, like Malmö, who are very strong, but we'll take it as it comes.
If you want to win the Champions League or defend the title, as we do, you have to beat everyone.
Ralf Kellermann, Wolfsburg coach
I'm very pleased to have qualified because these were two top teams up against one another and both have the potential to compete at the top of the European game. I'm relieved, but we improved on a lot of things tonight which we got wrong in the first leg in Malmo. We learned from our mistakes; as a coach it's very satisfying to see what you've discussed on the training ground put into practice.
Thankfully with Nilla [Fischer] it's not an injury. She was just having trouble with her vision and it was to do with her circulation. With Lena [Goessling] it's a foot injury and I hope nothing's broken.
I don't think it's any secret that nobody wants to play Lyon or Potsdam in the quarter-finals, but we'll take whoever we get. Anyone who's in the quarter-finals deserves our respect and it'll be a tough game. We're just happy our name's in the hat.
Anja Mittag, Malmö forward
I'm disappointed that we didn't get through. I think we could have beaten them, especially in the first leg, but we've only got ourselves to blame for that. Wolfsburg had the experience to get the result across the two legs. It's up to us now to recognise what we did wrong and work on it.
Obviously, we were lacking goals. We created a lot of chances in the first leg and again tonight, but we didn't finish them off and that's what counts. If you don't score, you're going to be punished, especially against such a top team, and that's why we've come away empty-handed.
Jonas Eidevall, Malmö coach
I was especially satisfied with the first-leg performance because we gave ourselves the opportunity to progress against a strong team like Wolfsburg, but we were not as effective as we needed to be to convert our opportunities. Wolfsburg, on the other hand, were really efficient at converting their chances and that was the difference between the teams.
Of course it's not good to concede a goal [in the manner of the opener] but I think the players know that's part of the game. Some goals you let in are a result of your opponents doing great things and some are a result of your mistakes.
At domestic level we might play well for 65 minutes and then have 25 minutes where we make some mistakes but aren't punished and win the game anyway. But here, at European level, we cannot afford not to be effective when we get our opportunities or to let our opponents score easy goals. That's the challenge for us. We're ready for it, but it's a shame we're out of the Champions League.
We have to wait until next autumn to play these kinds of games again, but I'm already looking forward to it.
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