Gaitán praised as Benfica show credentials

SL Benfica winger Nicolás Gaitán earned praise from team-mate Rodrigo after starring in the win at FC Oţelul Galaţi which the latter thinks puts them firmly in the race for the last 16.

Nicolás Gaitán and Gabriel Giurgiu speak to

Nicolás Gaitán deflected the praise for his part in SL Benfica's winning goal at FC Oţelul Galaţi in Group C and instead said it was all down to the run from goalscorer Bruno César. Oţelul took heart from the way they improved after half-time but admit it is going to be an uphill struggle to continue their European adventure beyond the group stage.

Nicolás Gaitán, Benfica winger
It was important to achieve the three points and the team did everything they could to bring it about. Yes, we should have scored more goals but it's not always possible in football and what matters is that we picked up the three points. The goal was all about the movement from Bruno César. It was very good and he made it possible to achieve the goal. I'm very proud to win the award [as's Man of the Match] but the most important thing is that the team played well and we won.

Rodrigo, Benfica forward
In the Champions League, every player looks to play well and try and help his team to win. For us to take three points away from home is really good. We were surprised by the Manchester United result tonight, the fact that they only drew at home. We need to stay with them in the race and we demonstrated tonight that if we continue to show this mentality that we can do so. Nico showed last season what a good player he is. He had a very good game against Manchester United and he did so again tonight with the assist for the goal.

Gabriel Giurgiu, Oţelul midfielder
Their goal forced us to play better in the second half. We want to get as many points as possible in this competition so we tried our maximum to create possibilities to score. I'm not sure if 1-1 would have been a fair result but it was a big chance for us at the end [for Sorin Frunză and Milan Perendija] and everyone in the team hoped the ball would go into the net. Benfica are a good team and played like we expected them to. Our objective against Manchester United is to play well and get as many points in the group as we can. If it is possible it would be great to think we can get to third place but it's going to be hard.

Marius Pena, Oţelul striker
The two halves of the game were totally different. They dominated in the first half but after that we played well and the match was even. We were unlucky with the chance at the end. We were so close to a big result. It was great to play here in front of our fans. Hopefully for the next game [against Manchester United FC] there will be more of them here.