“I didn’t see any contact”
The draw tonight in the Veltins-Arena has provided plenty of talking points. Domenico Tedesco discussed the penalty decisions among other things in the press conference. The Porto head coach praised the defensive work of his side. Mark Uth and Naldo also gave their opinions in the Mixed Zone. schalke04.de has summarised all four's opinions.
We are slightly disappointed with this point, as I felt that we actually played well. We pressed them well, were mentally strong and showed real hunger to win the second balls. We consistently tried to play the ball in behind their defence, in order to create chances for ourselves. We had already had chances to go ahead before 1-0, but then I feel we were a little bit passive after going ahead. Perhaps our strikers had started to run out of stream, as they worked so hard. It’s not easy to mark and trouble the opponent’s defensive midfielders like Mark and Breel did tonight.
The way we conceded the equaliser was just so frustrating. The first penalty was for me a correct decision, as it clearly hit Naldo’s hand. It was a 50-50 decision. I saw no contact for the second penalty though, and if there was any then it was minimal. I don’t think you can give a penalty for that. Nevertheless we have taken another step in the right direction today.
We managed to keep Schalke’s attacking prowess under control tonight. We very organised at the back and didn’t allow them many chances before their goal. Schalke are a very versatile team, which we had prepared ourselves for. Their goal came from an individual mistake from our team. However I am still pleased with the result and our team’s performance.
It was fun playing for Schalke in the Champions League for the first time, but I’m struggling to get excited about the result. We worked hard as a team and gave Porto very little. Today it was important for us forwards to press the opposition high up the pitch and close the passages to their holding midfielders. This required a lot of running and we fully delivered. This time we even got our goal, but unfortunately it still wasn’t enough for a win. I heard the penalty decision was contentious, but that’s the referee’s call. It was unfortunate for us, but we can’t change it now. A point in the Champions League is okay, now we have to concentrate on the Bundesliga again. When we play Bayern, we’ll need to put in just as much effort, fight just as hard, run just as much as tonight, then we’ll see what comes of it.
For the first penalty call, I didn’t think my hand was that far away from my body, so it wasn’t a penalty in my opinion. As for the second penalty incident, I didn’t even touch the opposition, so the referee shouldn’t have pointed to the spot. Nevertheless, I apologise to my team for giving away the two penalties. Our performance today was more like last season; we showed morale and fought hard against a tough opposition. The whole team contributed defensively, which is exactly what we’ll need to do on Saturday against Bayern. This was a performance that will give us confidence. It was a step in the right direction.