Schalke know they almost let it slip
Tuesday, October 21, 2014
"It's mixed feelings really because we almost lost," admitted Chinedu Obasi after FC Schalke 04's 4-3 win that left Sporting Clube de Portugal deflated but defiant.
Article top media content
• Stoppage-time penalty settles seven-goal contest in Schalke's favour
• Mixed feelings from Schalke's Chinedu Obasi and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar
• Sporting's Nani and William Carvalho disappointed but ready for revenge in Lisbon
• Next game: Sporting v Schalke (5 November)
Chinedu Obasi, Schalke forward
It's mixed feelings really because we almost lost the game, but at the end I'm really glad and we're really happy we got the three points. Obviously we have a lot of work to do but that's the Champions League – you never know what's going to happen. You have to be on your toes and try to defend well in every situation.
It was very important [to get the points] so we wanted to win. Even when we went 1-0 down we still believed we could do it. It wasn't an easy game, but the most important thing was the three points because whatever happens now, we know we've already got some on the table.
I'm well pleased [with my performance] because it's been a while since I played from the beginning. It was a very special game for me and that's why I went straight to [Roberto Di Matteo]. He spoke to me during the week and told me what he saw in me and that I can still deliver and help the team. I was very grateful that he believes in me and gave me the opportunity to express myself and the opportunity to play.
Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, Schalke forward
When your opponents are down to ten men, you have to manage the game better than we did. We could have helped ourselves by putting them under more pressure. We allowed them back into the game and to be honest I'm not going home with a good feeling. The only good thing is that we won. We've got plenty to discuss.
Kaan Ayhan, Schalke defender
If we hadn't made it 4-3 tonight we'd have a lot to answer for, but we did so lady luck was on our side. After going 1-0 down, we did really well to get 3-1 ahead. Afterwards we lost a bit of tempo, although it didn't feel like that on the pitch. Obviously my mistake to give away the penalty made it all a bit hectic. That can't be allowed to happen.
We knew before the game that we needed to win and now we're in the position we wanted to be in. We're just happy to have got the result in the bag and now we need to finish the job in Lisbon. It's a mini-final.
Roberto Di Matteo, Schalke coach
It was an eventful game. At times, we played very well and controlled the game well. After they got it back to 3-2, we lost our way a bit and conceded the equaliser when we were badly positioned in defence. But we are very happy to have got the points, which is what we wanted.
Sometimes things go against your team, sometimes they go for you. Today we had some good luck. I am not disappointed, because we have won. But if you are 3-1 up and have a numerical advantage, you have to control the game much better. We need a bit more time to improve our mentality and organisation. You were not the only one to think things were settled beyond doubt when Benedikt Höwedes made it 3-1.
From my first day here, Chinedu Obasi has put in some great performances in training and was very positive. He trained himself into the starting XI. He deserved to be on the pitch. He played a part in each of the first three goals and played very well.
I think our fans enjoyed today's match more than I did. As a coach, it was crazy.
Nani, Sporting forward
We are very disappointed because we did a great job to come back from 3-1 to 3-3. It was a great performance from the whole team. Now we know it's going to be much more difficult but it's not impossible. We still have three more games to play and we need to focus on winning them. Let's see what happens.
I think the attitude of everyone on the pitch after we went a man down was excellent. We were very compact. Everyone was focused on the game and everyone worked together. We believed until the last minute that we could score goals and win the game, even when were losing 3-1. We have to take that into the next game because it's very hard to play with ten men and it was a very positive performance from my point of view.
William Carvalho, Sporting midfielder
It's an unfair result. We didn't deserve to lose 4-3, but we have to accept it. We put in a good performance and worked especially hard after the red card. I think we were as good as them even with ten men. Now we need to take the positives and give the right response when Schalke come to our place. They're a good team, but we showed today they're beatable.
Marco Silva, Sporting coach
We played a fantastic game. We had to play with ten men, but came back superbly from 3-1 down. We performed very well. We were able to counter Schalke's attacks with our own and controlled the game until the red card. Afterwards, it was a different game, but my team reacted well and were equal to Schalke. Overall, we always believed in our strengths and performed outstandingly.
We gave everything we had. It was not a normal match. But we have no other option than carrying on. This game asked a lot of us, but we have to look forward now.
If you don't bring any points home, the situation doesn't get easier, it gets more complicated. What happened in this game? My team gave everything and were on par until the red card. We now have to keep working hard. It's too early to talk about our chances of progress. Schalke set the pace today and we will have to concentrate on the upcoming games.