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Photo by Isabel Silva

Amorim: "We strongly believe that we can go through"

By Sporting CP
09 Mar, 2023

The coach reacts to the 2-2 first leg draw with Arsenal

In the aftermath of the 2-2 draw against Arsenal in the first leg of the Round of 16 of the UEFA Europa League, Sporting Clube de Portugal coach Rúben Amorim reflected on the game, stating that he believed his side could have come away with the victory.

“Arsenal controlled the game with the ball, but we defended well. We had the first opportunity and, even when we conceded the first goal, the team didn't let their heads drop, which is a very good sign," he told the media in his post-match press conference.

"If we look at the incidents in the game, it was very similar to what has happened this season. There's always a detail that cancels out other moments, and that's what happened. We could have gone 3-1 up, but we didn't manage to and then they made it 2-2."

“After that, we tried to defend and the players gave everything they had with a different pace. The team were very smart in their understanding of the game, seeing where the spaces were, overloading the wings and bringing the ball out with quality. We had our chances against a team who have another level of power to them, and we adapted well. Looking at the game, we could have won.”

Amorim was then asked if the draw was a bittersweet result, taking into account the way the Arsenal goals were scored and the chances not finished off by Sporting CP.

“Before the game, all Sportinguistas would have taken this result. But looking at what happened, it's hard to accept and nobody can be satisfied. We didn't manage to score a goal and in key moments we suffered, first from a dead ball and then off a rebound. Still, we had a very competent game. We should have scored one or two more goals, but it's good that there's a bittersweet feeling because we're here to win and not just to take part," he stated.

The coach also stressed that the tie is open and that the team will "try everything" in the second leg.

“We are going to London with the aim of going through. We know that Arsenal will have their crowd there, but if we were a goal or two ahead it would be completely different. We're going to play our game and try to make the opposition nervous, because we have the ability to have the ball. We know we're going to suffer a lot and if we have to defend with everyone in front of the goal, then that's what we'll do. We strongly believe that we can go through."