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Rui Pedro delights in CFR's 'magnificent night'

Man-of-the-match Rui Pedro says CFR 1907 Cluj will go to Manchester United FC on matchday six with "nothing to lose" after his hat-trick put Group H rivals SC Braga to the sword.

Rui Pedro delights in CFR's 'magnificent night'
Rui Pedro delights in CFR's 'magnificent night' ©UEFA.com

Rui Pedro reflected on a "magnificent night" for himself and CFR 1907 Cluj after his hat-trick helped the Romanian side remain in contention for a place in the last 16 with a 3-1 Group H victory against SC Braga. The Portuguese midfielder, named UEFA.com users' Player Rater man of the match, paid tribute to the tactics of coach Paulo Sérgio for a win which sets up a decisive matchday six fixture at Manchester United FC, a game in which CFR "have nothing to lose".    

Rui Pedro, CFR forward
I'm very happy with the result and that CFR won the match and have qualified [for at least the UEFA Europa League]. We won because we had an excellent strategy prepared by our coach and one which we respected. We were pragmatic and deserved to win. I wouldn't say I'm disappointed by Galatasaray's victory, but the fact is that we won't have anything to lose in the last match and we will go to Manchester to get a big result.

Being man of the match and the first player to score three goals for a Romanian club in the UEFA Champions League group stage makes for a magnificent night. I'm also happy for our fans and it doesn't matter that I scored against a Portuguese team. I have plenty of friends there, but once we are on the pitch we are opponents.

Mário Felgueiras, CFR goalkeeper
Everybody is happy here – we don't have reason not to be. We played a very good game, almost perfect, and we have a chance to qualify [for the last 16]. Why shouldn't we be confident of achieving this? I know Manchester United played their reserves in Istanbul, but all we are thinking about now is the match coming up in Manchester. We will travel there to win, because in football it's not about who earns more money. We won because we were united, like a real team, and when we play like this it's very hard for somebody to defeat us.

Beto, Braga goalkeeper
I'm very disappointed, because we had certain expectations for this match, knowing that we had to win. We started well, but our mistakes allowed CFR to win. Indeed, CFR scored two quick goals from their first attacks, but gradually we reacted, made it 2-1 and tried to draw the game. However, they made it 3-1 on another counterattack and it became more and more difficult for us.

The red card shown to Douglão created another problem for us. In the second half we tried to play, but we did it more with the heart than with the head. Were CFR better? They were better because they won. We played better, but they were more efficient. We leave Romania with a bad feeling, because certainly we could and should have done more.