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Gerets praises Porto quality

Olympique de Marseille coach Erik Gerets described FC Porto as "one of the best teams in Europe" and was thus far happier with a 1-1 draw than Jesualdo Ferreira.

Olympique de Marseille coach Erik Gerets was far happier than his FC Porto counterpart Jesualdo Ferreira after a 1-1 draw kept the French club two points clear at the top of UEFA Champions League Group A. Gerets described the Portuguese champions as "one of the best teams in Europe" and praised his goalkeeper Steve Mandanda for keeping the home side in it before Mamadou Niang opened the scoring on 69 minutes. Ferreira, meanwhile, was cheered by his team's reaction as Lucho González levelled from the penalty spot ten minutes later.

Erik Gerets, Marseille coach
This is a good point for us considering we were up against one of the best teams in Europe. We saw in the first half there is a big difference in quality between Porto and ourselves. But despite that I always felt we had a chance. I told my players at half-time to keep the ball longer and build with patience. Unfortunately our centre-backs [Ronald Zubar and Jacques Faty] were not always confident playing the ball out of defence. I'm happier with the second-half display. We didn't play great football but we got a point and we’re still top. I was very pleased with our young goalkeeper Mandanda who showed great composure once again, and I thought Laurent Bonnart was our outstanding player. We know we can do better, but slowly things are improving.

Jesualdo Ferreira, Porto coach
This is an unfair result. We deserved to win. We played really well, at a high tempo, and controlled the game for long periods, especially in the first half. We created three great chances to score but unfortunately their goalkeeper produced some fine saves. Marseille improved when Boudewijn Zenden was taken off and they surprised us by taking the lead. But I was pleased with the way we reacted to Niang's goal. It was important not to lose. We've got five points and need two wins to see us through to the next round. Liverpool [FC] losing in the other game is good for us – a nice and unexpected surprise.