Watts on how Bristol eliminated Barcelona

"It's massive," Nikki Watts told UEFA.com after her penalty took Bristol Academy WFC past FC Barcelona and into the last eight to the delight of Dave Edmondson.

Bristol Academy WFC coach Dave Edmondson praises Nikki Watt's 'real quality' after his side's progression to the UEFA Women's Champions League quarter-finals at the expense of FC Barcelona.

Nikki Watts converted the 83rd-minute penalty that took Bristol Academy WFC past FC Barcelona and into the UEFA Women's Champions League quarter-final but told UEFA.com: "The ball rolled a little bit and I thought to myself: "Shall I replace it?'"

She did not and "thankfully it went in" though both Watts and manager Dave Edmondson admitted that Barcelona, who were 1-0 up and level on aggregate at half-time, had dominated the first period. A Bristol rethink paid dividends to the delight of the Ashton Gate crowd, whose team go into Wednesday's draw.

Nikki Watts, Bristol forward
It's unbelievable, really. All credit to the girls, we've defended really well for two whole games, 180 minutes. With the commitment we showed and the effort, I think we deserved to win in the end.

There was a bit of a delay [with the penalty] and just before I went to take it the ball rolled a little bit as well and I thought to myself, 'Shall I replace it?' And I thought, 'No, she's kept me waiting long enough, I'm going to have to hit it.' And thankfully it went in.

They dominated possession in the first half much like they had in the first game. But I think once the goal went in and it was 1-1 overall it was important we got through to half-time without conceding again. At half-time we had a chance to regroup, and it was 1-1 still, one goal could win us the game and that was what we got in the end.

Nikki Watts converts
Nikki Watts converts©UEFA.com

It's massive. We have got one of the smallest budgets in the [English] league, and the crowd we had tonight – we've got the best fans in the league by far. It's nights like this why you play the game and it's great for women's football. The club have done really well promoting the game and it was nice people came along. Hopefully we'll have even more in the next round.

The thing about it as well, we knew it was this 90 minutes and that was the end of our season whatever happened. So just work as hard as we can, and win the game, and that's what we did.

Dave Edmondson, Bristol manager
I'm just proud of the girls and the efforts they made. To be able to turn it round in that second half the way we did and the commitment they've shown throughout ... It was a really tough game. In both legs Barcelona have been outstanding to be honest. And I think people will look at that and think: 'Bristol aren't a bad side either.'

Certainly in that second half we were able to get a bit more ball, create a few more chances, and cause them problems. That really is just down to the effort those girls have made and their level of fitness which really showed towards the end as well.

Delight for the manager
Delight for the manager©UEFA.com

[At half-time] we just talked about trusting ourselves a little bit more and knowing we would get some chances. So there was no panic, it wasn't a case of throwing the game plan out at half-time and start something new. It was just little bits of tweaks, not to get too stretched when we are trying to stop them playing.

We went to a diamond in midfield as well which helped us balance things off a little bit better and forced them to go a bit longer, which they are not used to doing and don't like doing, it is not part of their philosophy. It made them struggle a little bit and before that we'd allowed them to play a bit much. So it was really stop them doing what they wanted to do and make them do something a bit different.

People didn't expect us to be here. Barcelona didn't expect us to be here. It's put our name on the map a little bit, the rest of Europe will need to find out where Bristol is now and see what we actually do.

Xavi Llorens, Barcelona coach
In the first half, we were clearly the better side and dominated, but in the second half, they showed character and managed to turn things around and beat us. We had chances but couldn't finish them – that happened in the first leg, and it has happened again here.

We have to develop in a competitive sense and learn how to read matches correctly. You can't play football with only great touches, combinations and domination. Controlling matches means fighting when it is required – being hard and aggressive – and a lot of teams in Europe are better than us in that sense.

Top