Ljubomir Fejsa lauded SL Benfica's "maximum" display after they seized control of the last-16 tie against Tim Sherwood's Tottenham Hotspur FC, who face a "tall order" in Lisbon.
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The UEFA Europa League last-16 tie between Tottenham Hotspur FC and SL Benfica recalled a classic from the European Champion Clubs' Cup – and more than 50 years later it was the Portuguese giants who came out on top again.
Benfica midfielder Ljubomir Fejsa refused to consider a return trip to the final for last year's runners-up, while Rodrigo – scorer of the opening goal in the 3-1 first-leg success at White Hart Lane – emphasised that his team must "make the most" of their imperious form.
Tottenham manager Tim Sherwood believed the first goal of the night was the turning point, but pledged his side would "give it our all" with a mountain to climb in the return.
Ljubomir Fejsa, Benfica midfielder
The result is good for us, we played a very strong game. Everybody gave their maximum and that's why we won. We're playing in Portugal next and we must concentrate on that now. We're only looking at it game by game. All the players we have at Benfica are good players and whoever starts gives their maximum. The atmosphere in the stadium? It was perfect.
Rodrigo, Benfica forward
It was a great victory. We could have scored even more goals. We cancelled out Tottenham's attacking game. It was a deserved win. It's a good result, but nothing is decided. Even if we had lost, it wouldn't have been decided. We've not qualified yet. We have to focus on the league, which is our priority, and after that prepare for the home game with Tottenham. We're on a great run. We always believe in what we're doing. Now we have to make the most of this moment and try to improve and carry on strongly until the end of the season.
Tim Sherwood, Tottenham manager
We showed good spirit, character and we were solid defensively, but their first shot on goal ended up in our net and that was a body blow. To then concede [from] two set pieces in the second half was really disappointing. Christian [Eriksen] showed good quality from the free-kick, but we couldn't take on that momentum. We possibly lacked a bit of guile and invention around the penalty area. We'll go to Benfica and give it our all, and we owe it to the fans to do that. We'll have a good following over there and we'll play with spirit and give it everything we've got, but obviously it's a tall order.