"For a Swiss club to play Tottenham and get a 2-2 is a nice result," said FC Basel 1893 No1 Yann Sommer, with Spurs' players conceding the visitors were better than expected.
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Valentin Stocker opened the scoring in FC Basel 1893's 2-2 UEFA Europa League quarter-final first-leg draw at Tottenham Hotspur FC but he and team-mate Yann Sommer refused to get carried away. Spurs' Brad Friedel, Lewis Holtby and Gylfi Sigurdsson found reason for hope in the way they clawed things back after going 2-0 down.
Yann Sommer, Basel goalkeeper
For us it is a good result. We were playing away against Tottenham, who are third in the Premier League and have a really good team, but we showed today that we have a really good team, played a really good game, and created a lot of chances. The first half was really good – we created a lot of pressure, we did not give them space to play, were focused and our organisation was really good.
We played a lot of balls behind the Tottenham defence and they had a lot of problems with these balls. We had [Mohamed] Salah and Stocker on the wings and [Marco] Streller in the middle – we have a good team. [Away goals] could be very important. Now in the second game Tottenham have to play and they have to do something. For a Swiss club, to play Tottenham and get a 2-2 is a nice result.
[In the second leg] I think Tottenham will create a lot of pressure – they have to. We have to be ready for that and we have to be well organised, like we were tonight. If we are, it will be a good game for us. We will see. We have a league game now, then Tottenham are coming and we will concentrate on that. We will see, but it will be a good game in Switzerland.
Valentin Stocker, Basel midfielder
We had a lot more chances, so that is a little bit hard for us to take, but if you get a 2-2 at Tottenham, for Basel, it is incredible. For us it was a big match, and it is a big opportunity now in the rematch at home. Once we got the first goal, then the second, we had the feeling that we could win this game.
This is like David against Goliath, but at this stage you have to push through if you have the chance. [Tottenham] played a good game. Sometimes we had no time to breathe. We had to fight and we were lucky sometimes. I hope the away goals will be important but I do not know. Of course, we still have the dream to get through to the final. That is a big dream for us. The squad is full of confidence.
Brad Friedel, Tottenham goalkeeper
It was disappointing after half an hour, but then we played really well in the last 15 minutes of the first half. To come from two goals down against anyone shows we have a lot of character in our side, so we will take some positives from the game. However, I think Basel played very well tonight. They caused us a lot of problems and had a lot of good chances, and it seemed like they had most of the chances to be honest with you, but saying that we have a great group of players and hopefully we will be able to get a result at their ground.
We knew they were good. They set up to hit us on the counterattack and they did that really effectively, I thought their right-winger [Salah] posed us a lot of problems, and in the second half he did a great job of keeping possession for the team. We will have our work cut out, but we have had a lot of tough ties in this competition. We have a great group and a lot of character and we will look forward to the next game.
Lewis Holtby, Tottenham midfielder
The positive thing is we came back from 2-0. We have a tough task, we have to defend better than we did today at many stages, and we need to have belief in the win. We are good away from home, we have got some good results this season so we are still positive and our confidence is high. Throughout the season we have shown our team spirit. We are never down – everyone believes in that and that is a good thing. But we need to analyse the game today, look at the things we did badly and focus on the positive things we did.
Gylfi Sigurdsson, Tottenham midfielder
It is not looking good at 2-0, but we managed to get back into the tie. We are disappointed, but in the end I think you have to be happy when you have been 2-0 down. Things were going for them in the first half, but in the last 15 minutes of the first half I think we were on top and half-time came at a bad time. We were unlucky not to get the second goal. We managed to get the second goal [after half-time] and are still in the tie now.
We are an attacking team, so hopefully [needing to score in the second leg] will suit us and we can go there and get some goals. We knew they were a good team but even so, they surprised us by how good they were, how they passed the ball and how organised they were. It is going to be really tough going there, but we are full of confidence and hopefully we can do it.