While Ivan Rakitić, Vitolo and Daniel Carriço were delighted with "an incredible night" for Sevilla FC, Steven Defour and Hector Herrera felt FC Porto paid for a slow start.
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Elation from Ivan Rakitić, Vitolo and Daniel Carriço after "an incredible night" for Sevilla FC contrasted with despair for FC Porto duo Steven Defour and Hector Herrera, who lamented a painful opening half-hour as they saw a 1-0 UEFA Europa League quarter-final first-leg lead overturned by a 4-1 loss in Spain.
Ivan Rakitić, Sevilla midfielder
It was an incredible night. We did a really great job and I think that's why we ended up with the win. Right from the start we played with a very high and very positive intensity and Porto didn't know what to do. It seemed like we had two or three more players on the pitch.
The four teams [still in the UEFA Europa League] are all capable of winning it, but we're going to focus on ourselves. The most important thing is to keep playing with the same confidence and intensity because, whoever we get, we're going to fight toe-to-toe with them and be capable of beating them.
Everyone's chasing the same thing, but we want our share and we're going to give it our all. We've got to keep our feet on the ground and stay on the same track because it's going very well for us.
Vitolo, Sevilla winger
I don't think there are any negatives from tonight – we gave everything right from the first minute. In the second half they had more possession, but the lead we had and the fact we were a man down meant we had to play that way. The gaffer told us beforehand that we had to start with a lot of intensity and put our hearts and souls into it, and we all did just that. The team really went for it and it was really important that we scored the first three goals quickly – that was key.
The gaffer has shown so much faith in me – I couldn't even imagine this at the start of the season. I'm particularly happy about the goal and the teamwork we put in, which I think was great.
It's been a tough journey with a lot of obstacles, because we started playing this competition back in August and there are a lot of games, but now we're getting to the most important and the best games – the ones that are most enjoyable to play in.
I don't mind who we get [in the semis] – all the other teams will be very tough. They're teams with a lot of pedigree, but we've got a good enough side to match up to whoever we draw.
Daniel Carriço, Sevilla midfielder
Everything went really well. If we'd dreamt of how the match would go, this is what we would have wished for. In the first 30 minutes everything went perfectly. We started the match like a bullet from a gun – we really wanted to score early and the Sevilla fans were spectacular. They got behind us for the whole 90 minutes and were like a 12th man. For us, it was a perfect night.
Now we'll take who we get. We're in the last four of the Europa League and you can't go picking who you get. Whoever we meet, we have to face up to them and dream of making the final.
Steven Defour, Porto midfielder
In the first 20 minutes we weren't really prepared for the high pressure of Sevilla and of course in the first five minutes we had a penalty go against us. That didn't help us very much, gave them confidence and we had things a little bit difficult – I think that's what made the difference.
When they scored after five minutes the fans got even louder than they already were and we knew beforehand it was going to be a tough atmosphere, but we need to get our heads up and look forward. [Suspended Jackson Martínez and Fernando] are important players, but I think we had the quality to replace them. Unfortunately, the whole team didn't play very well. Sevilla have quality – they're now in the semis and anything's possible – but we do too and if we'd scored more goals in the first leg then maybe tonight would have been a different story.
Hector Herrera, Porto midfielder
I think the problem with our first 30 minutes was a lack of organisation. They made good use of the spaces we left them and that's reflected in the scoreline. We wanted to attack but left spaces behind, which they took advantage of.
Jackson and Fernando are important players in this side and we always rely on them, but I don't think it was because of their absence that we ended up like this. Sevilla are a good team – they play good football and now we can only wish them luck. I hope they can achieve their objective. Their fans were really up for it tonight, they never stopped urging them on.