"We played a great game – we just missed too many chances," concluded Vincenzo Montella after ACF Fiorentina made heavy work of eliminating FC Dynamo Kyiv.
Article top media content
ACF Fiorentina coach Vincenzo Montella was pleased after his side beat FC Dynamo Kyiv 2-0 to complete a 3-1 aggregate UEFA Europa League quarter-final success, though the former striker would have liked a calmer night as the Viola struggled to finish off their opponents.
Dynamo played the last 50 minutes of Thursday's second leg with ten men following Jeremain Lens's dismissal, but while Mario Gomez gave Fiorentina the lead before the break, it took until the closing seconds for Juan Manuel Vargas to put the tie beyond the visitors – an unnecessary stress in a game where the hosts carved out 25 chances to Kyiv's four.
"We played with extraordinary intensity and quality and we managed to create so many openings but we didn't finish them, so we wasted a lot of energy," the Fiorentina boss said. "When you play like we did today, you should score earlier so as not to have to struggle until the very end."
Nor was this a new situation for the Tuscan outfit, who have often laboured to translate opportunities into goals this season; tellingly, Khouma Babacar struck at the death in the first leg against Dynamo to earn a 1-1 draw in a match where the Viola had 18 attempts to the Ukrainians' ten.
"We played a great game – we just missed too many chances," the 40-year-old said of his team's showing in Florence. "We have to learn to be more clinical. Today, however, there is only room for joy. I'm happy for the squad because they deserved to qualify for the work they have done."
Fiorentina's former Spain winger Joaquín could not fault their efforts either. "It was a great performance from us," the 33-year-old told UEFA.com. "We are delighted to have reached the semi-finals. We wasted too many chances, but football is like that. The only thing that counts is that we stick to our playing philosophy and that we do that with personality."
Joaquín was superb, linking up perfectly with full-back Marcos Alonso on the left flank, and providing the assist for Gomez's 43rd-minute goal. "We worked to entertain our fans, but it's true that you don't have much fun if you don't win," he explained. "We have to continue playing like this – pressing high and trying to keep the ball. It's how we like to play and the style that gives us the best chance to win.
"We don't fear any team," the former Real Betis Balompié, Valencia CF and Málaga CF player continued. "If we play like we did today, we can definitely reach the final."