Schalke coach Mirko Slomka singled out goalkeeper Manuel Neuer after watching his side overcome Porto on a penalty shoot-out to reach the quarter-finals of the Champions League.
“As expected we faced a very strong Porto side,” said Slomko. “We had a good second half but didn’t create many chances. We still managed to achieve our goal, but only on penalties.
“A word for our goalkeeper who was great tonight. It’s good to go into the dressing room and see the faces of players, so happy and partying. Now we’ll all celebrate a bit because tomorrow it’s time to work again.
“It was a hard match that took 120 minutes, we held on well, Porto scored but didn’t win. This win was very good for us and will certainly boost us in our Bundesliga campaign. We knew how they took penalties and did our job. Our keeper was great again here and gave an answer to his critics.”
The home side forced extra-time with a late Lisandro Lopez goal, and coach Jesualdo Ferreira believed his team deserved to go through to the last eight.
“I have to say that Schalke are a weaker side than Porto,” said Ferreira. “We were always on top for the 120 minutes and had clear chances to win. We overcame Bosingwa’s injury and Fucile’s red card and then managed to score. We had two clear chances and were severely punished in the penalties.
“I have to congratulate my players and I give them the message that losing this way will put us in a better position in the future to win more competitions, such as the league and cup.
“Porto were a great side today against a team who just defended and only in the closing minutes created any danger. This is one of the worst days of my career in Porto. Schalke are a good side, one of the best teams in Germany who managed to get through the group stage against Chelsea, Valencia and Rosenborg, and we were much better than them.”