It might have been a "great day" for goalkeeper Ricardo López after CA Osasuna's 3-0 victory at Bayer 04 Leverkusen but the home side were left "shocked".
CA Osasuna goalkeeper Ricardo López was delighted with his team's display at the BayArena where the Spanish outfit ran out 3-0 first-leg winners against Bayer 04 Leverkusen in the UEFA Cup quarter-finals, a result that left home midfielder Tranquillo Barnetta in reflective mood.
Ricardo enjoyed a relatively quiet evening in Germany as the home side failed to impress the sell-out crowd and was understandably buoyant after the final whistle. "This is a great day for the club," he told uefa.com. "It is a great experience being involved in a UEFA Cup quarter-final and we must enjoy our success here. I must compliment all the players in the team because they just refused to stop running throughout the match."
The former Manchester United FC custodian, who made an important second-half save from Juan when the score was still 1-0, felt the opening goal from Javier Cuéllar in the first minute had been key as Osasuna went on to build a comfortable lead. Ricardo said: "The first goal was extremely important because it boosted our confidence and we could relax a bit."
Nonetheless, despite the tie being firmly in Osasuna's hands after second-half strikes from David López and Pierre Wébo, the 35-year-old insisted there is still everything to play for. "We won't make the mistake of underestimating Leverkusen. They are a big club with a good name in Europe, and they have some excellent players in their ranks. We must be very careful in the return as we all know anything can happen in football," continued the ex-Spanish international.
Leverkusen midfielder Barnetta was rather more subdued after the Bundesliga team suffered only their second defeat in nine games in all competitions. "We are all extremely disappointed because we desperately wanted to get a good result to give us a chance of reaching the next round, but sadly that just wasn't to be," the Swiss international told uefa.com.
And like Ricardo, the 21-year-old saw Cuéllar's early header as being decisive. He added: "It destroyed our game plan. We wanted to avoid conceding a goal and it shocked us. Nonetheless I don't think the result does us justice. We weren't as bad as the scoreline suggests, even if we were guilty of not creating enough clear chances. However, who knows what would have happened if Juan had scored with 30 minutes left to play."