Michal Ďuriš struck FK Viktoria Plzeň's last-gasp equaliser against AC Milan and his elation was clear while a disappointed Pato insisted the Rossoneri "can be a match for anyone" in the last 16.
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Pato put in a superb performance for AC Milan only for hopes of victory to be scuppered as two late FK Viktoria Plzeň goals secured a 2-2 draw, and although the forward was not happy, he insisted the Rossoneri "can be a match for anyone" in the UEFA Champions League knockout phase. The disappointment of Pato was in stark contrast to the elation of Plzeň forward Michal Ďuriš, whose added-time equaliser secured a fifth Group H point, and the debutants now transfer to the UEFA Europa League round of 32.
Michal Ďuriš, Plzeň forward
It's a great feeling to equalise in added time, especially against a great team like AC Milan. I think we deserved a point. Before the game we knew that, to be sure of qualifying for the Europa League, we needed a point and we set out to get it.
We didn't want to rely on [FC BATE Borisov not winning] in Barcelona, and I'm happy that we achieved this. It's a great point. We perhaps let our concentration slip and we conceded twice. Teams like AC Milan can punish you for the smallest errors. It was important to get over that quickly, not give up, and we got back into it. In every game, we tried to play positive football, which our fans appreciated.
The games against Barcelona and AC Milan gave us a lot of experience, and I hope we'll use this experience to our benefit. Having come through such a group, it'll be a different story in the Europa League, because we now have more self-belief.
Pavel Horváth, Plzeň midfielder
At the beginning of the second half, we weren't concentrating enough. Perhaps we were thinking about trying to score, and AC Milan immediately punished two mistakes. We looked to play attacking football and try to score goals, and I think our fans liked that. It's an enormous achievement for us to come back from two down to equalise. I would like to thank all the boys for that.
Before the first group game, we aimed to at least qualify for the Europa League. Anything more than that would have been great, but we achieved our objective, and we can be happy. From playing against great teams like Milan and Barcelona, we've learned that they make the most out of any chance they get. This is what I think we have to work on; it's the biggest weakness in our game
Pato, Milan forward
We had the result in our hands. We then conceded two goals at the end, and that's why we're not happy. They had chances, we had more possession in the first half, but didn't create anything. The chances came along in the second half, and we did well to score them, but we're disappointed not to have won as we played well.
At half-time, the coach asked us to press more. We suddenly got two chances, and scored two goals, but they didn't get us what we wanted as the draw was not the result we were looking for. Milan are always ready. We now have to wait and see who we'll get. I think that we have to think about ourselves, think about doing our best, but we can be a match for anyone.
Urby Emanuelson, Milan midfielder
We're a little bit disappointed about the result, because we played well. We had it under control, but they scored twice in the last three minutes. We're disappointed, but we're still in the next round. I'm not sure they deserved it. We played well too, and showed that we're better than them. But after they went 2-0 down, they never gave up, they went right to the final whistle and that's why they got the result they wanted. We just played our own game, but it was a difficult away game. Plzeň were playing for the Europa League. We were already through, but we wanted to win and that's why we're disappointed.
Robinho and Pato are like that. If you give them space, they have the quality to make goals, and that's what they did today. We could have scored more. We have to fear no one in the next round, but if you play against Madrid or a team like that, you know you'll have a tough game. We'll just have to wait and see what the draw brings. We're going to just do our best to get through.