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Quaresma realises Porto premonition with winner

Ricardo Quaresma said he knew it would be his day after he came on to decide in FC Porto's favour a tight contest that had threatened to tilt towards rueful Athletic Club.

Ricardo Quaresma celebrates his 75th-minute strike
Ricardo Quaresma celebrates his 75th-minute strike ©AFP/Getty Images

Julen Lopetegui proud of "a good game in every respect" for Porto
Ricardo Quaresma scores four minutes after coming on to earn 2-1 win
Quaresma now targeting a return to the top in Portugal
Ernesto Valverde notes: "We just have to win our next three games"
Next matches: Athletic v Porto (5 November)

Ricardo Quaresma, Porto winger
We all have to take whichever opportunities come our way. I was confident that today was my day. The coach also told me before the match that I'd probably have a key role to play in the game. He gave me the opportunity and I was happy to help the team. The most important thing was the victory.

We already knew Athletic would really go for it. They needed to win. We kept our heads up and reacted very well. I think it would have been unfair if we were speaking now on the back of a draw or defeat. Porto winning was a fair result. Now we can leave the Champions League to one side for a bit and think about Arouca. It won't be an easy game. We want to return to the top of the Liga as quickly as possible.

Julen Lopetegui, Porto coach
We had some brilliant moments against Athletic and they are a great team, with a lot of technical quality. This was a very good game in every respect. Athletic responded well and bounced back after the break, but the most important thing was that we managed to win.

We are only at the halfway stage in the group and it will not be easy to finish on top – we have to think about it on a game-by-game basis.

Guillermo Fernández (R) had made it 1-1
Guillermo Fernández (R) had made it 1-1©AFP/Getty Images

I brought Rúben Neves on for Juan Quintero to freshen up the midfield, to put in some more physical strength and also to rest the player, who made a huge effort in the weekend game against Sporting. Ricardo Quaresma – we are thrilled with him. He did what he was asked and gave us a lot of pleasure – and of course, the win.

Ernesto Valverde, Athletic coach
It was very much a game of two halves. In the first half they were stronger, but we had two good chances. I was looking forward to reorganising the team at the break, but then we conceded. In the second period, after we equalised, I thought we would go on to win the game, but despite creating good chances it did not happen.

We knew that this was a crucial match and after this loss we just have to win our next three games – starting with the return fixture. We have to understand our opponents and take the level of this competition into consideration. Once you do, it makes sense that you might not be able to make up for it every time you make a mistake.

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