Domenico Tedesco: We have made it out of a very tough group
Head coach Domenico Tedesco, and players Daniel Caligiuri and Alessandro Schöpf, were happy about qualifying for the next round, but disappointed about the result in Porto. Schalke04.de has summarised their post-match thoughts, as well of those of Porto coach Sergio Conceicao.
The first half was okay, we managed to keep the opposition away from our goal aside from on two occasions, where Ralf Fährmann saved fantastically both times. In the first half we failed to win a lot of one-on-ones and we started the second half poorly. Against an opposition like this you immediately get punished with two goals, which were both avoidable. After the second goal, we showed good character, and our substitutes played well. Sebastian Rudy gave stability, for instance. With a bit of luck we might have found the equaliser, but on reflection we were deservedly beaten by a very strong side. It was difficult to open up the play today, Porto pressed brilliantly. Even in the first ten minutes we were unable to cope with their pressing, because they were so close to us. We had a bit more possession later on, but in the final third we lost the crucial footraces too often. We definitely lacked that cutting edge up front.
We did all we could to try and forget that we were already through after Lokomotiv won. It was like we “dead” in the last 30 minutes when we were behind, although we still got one goal back in the final stages. Despite having a very tough group, we have still managed to qualify for the last 16 – we still deserved to lose today though.
We made some good changes at half time and were able to play as we wanted to in the second half. We stayed compact after conceding the penalty and got a third goal to seal the game. We are a big club and have a strong team. We are used to getting into the knockout stages and did so again thanks to the hard work of my players.
Despite qualifying for the knockout stages, I’m very annoyed about the defeat tonight. We really wanted to win, despite knowing that Porto have a lot of quality in the team. In the first half we struggled to get into the game, but pressed well towards the end and gave them very few opportunities to attack. After the break we started to make several individual mistakes, which was punished. On the whole we were too passive, not aggressive enough in the fifty-fifties, so Porto deserved to win. We know that we are in the last 16, and we can definitely be happy about that, but I am still disappointed that we aren’t able to win the group now. That was our aim before going to Portugal today.
We knew that we had secured our place in the next round before the game, but we still wanted to win the game, which we didn’t manage to do. We struggled going forwards and barely made any chances. It must be said that they are a strong team with a tight defence. We have to start making more chances for ourselves again.