Luis Miguel Ramis hailed his players' resilience after ten-man Real Madrid CF won 1-0 at Paris Saint-Germain, who "lacked patience" according to Laurent Bonadei.
Article top media content
Luis Miguel Ramis praised his Real Madrid CF side for their resilience after they beat UEFA Youth League last-eight rivals Paris Saint-Germain 1-0 despite losing Héctor Martínez to a 55th-minute red card.
"We had to tighten our lines," explained the victorious tactician, whose charges will face either Manchester City FC or SL Benfica in next month's semi-finals in Nyon. Hosts Paris were left ruing missed chances, meanwhile, with coach Laurent Bonadei feeling his team "lacked patience".
Luis Miguel Ramis, Madrid coach
It was a very eventful match with lots of dangerous moments. The first half gave us a good idea of how the game would play out, especially the first 25 minutes. We created lots of threatening situations during that period, but after that we controlled the ball less well. They took advantage of us losing the ball to launch counterattacks. Paris have players who know how to exploit space.
At half-time, we tried to revert to our original ploy, keeping possession of the ball, but the sending-off changed the game. It changed our way of playing, because we could no longer build long intricate moves to get into our opponents' area. With ten men against a physically strong team, we had to tighten our lines to better occupy space, and then we broke the deadlock with a goal scored from a dead-ball situation.
We knew that if we managed to score, they would lose their defensive organisation. After the goal, we had two or three good chances which we could have put away if we'd been more clinical. It would have been game over at 2-0, but, instead we were under pressure right until the end.
Francisco José Rodríguez, Madrid defender
We knew it would be a very tough game. Paris are a very physical team and very combative. That forced us to stay compact to win. We found ourselves down to ten men, so we had to tighten up and communicate a lot so as not to give them any space, especially behind our defence. Once we got the ball back, we had to hold onto it, play quickly and try to use the full width of the pitch. Set pieces are very important and we work on them a lot in training. And today, that allowed us to win the game.
Laurent Bonadei, Paris coach
We're very disappointed after this defeat and elimination. There's frustration as well because the players gave everything. It was a very even match in the first half, with Madrid playing without any reservations and trying to impose their game. We soon got the measure of them and managed to control possession and create chances. Unfortunately, we hit the post and their goalkeeper made one or two great saves.
In the second half, we weren't able to exploit the fact we had a numerical advantage and they scored from a set piece, which happens so often. When it's 11 against ten, I think the chances of the team with ten men scoring is 10%, but in a dead-ball situation your numerical advantage doesn't count any more and they were able to take their chance, with the ball deflected on its way into the net.
It's not easy for the youngsters, but we can't have any regrets because we had chances. Their goalkeeper made a great save from Hervin Ongenda's free-kick. In the second half, and especially in the last five minutes, we created a lot of openings in their area but just missed out.
We rushed things a little when we were a man up. I think we wanted to score and win the game, and tried to get into their box very quickly. It's true that we lacked patience, and we should have tired them out more and worked more on the wings. The players will get over it quickly, though, because they're young and full of spirit.
As for Madrid, they showed a lot of maturity and solidarity when they were down to ten men. They were determined, robust and were intelligent in how they kept stopping the game. We weren't able to get back the rhythm we had in the first half.