Coach Panagiotis Lemonis took delight in knowing Olympiacos CFP's passionate fans would be "celebrating on the streets of Piraeus" after qualification.
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Ieroklis Stoltidis scored twice and Darko Kovacević got the other as Olympiacos CFP overcame Werder Bremen to seal a long-awaited return to the last 16. Coach Panagiotis Lemonis, the man who built the team, took delight in knowing the club's passionate fans would be "celebrating on the streets of Piraeus", while opposite number Thomas Schaaf took some consolation from a prolonged European campaign in the UEFA Cup.
Panagiotis Lemonis, Olympiacos coach
I believe we deserved to go through to the knockout stages, given our results and performances in the group. It was a tough victory today because we had to apply strict tactics. We pressurised their midfielders a lot in order to free up spaces and attack. The 3-0 scoreline does not reflect our effort on the pitch. For me, the most rewarding feeling is to know that right now our fans are on the streets of Piraeus celebrating our qualification.
This is one of the most important results in the history of Olympiacos - not because of the result, but because of the way my players went for the victory when a draw was enough to seal our qualification. The team has a changed attitude, they are now psychologically strong and it shows. This is our chance to build a new squad, to continue the project we started this summer when we made many new and significant signings. We have what it takes to create a beautiful team. Stoltidis is having an excellent season – apart from his technical qualities he is a born winner.
Thomas Schaaf, Bremen coach
Our problem was that we conceded the first goal early in the match. It came against the run of play, as we had just missed a good chance to go ahead. Then we found ourselves trying to equalise but were out of luck. We improved in the second half but still didn't take advantage of our chances and were punished for that when Olympiacos scored their second goal. We paid for our defensive mistakes, lost too many one-on-one battles and the final result is a consequence of that.
However, we had to play an attacking game because only a victory was enough for us. Nothing is easy in the Champions League and that's showed in the group this season. We've had some good times, but also several disappointments – including conceding too many goals. Now we'll look to go as far as possible in the UEFA Cup because that's a competition we take seriously. We need to identify which areas in our game we can improve. Tonight Olympiacos were worthy winners and deserved to go through. My counterpart has done a great job with his team.