Porto manager Victor Fernandez came out fighting following the Champions League defeat to Chelsea, saying that he didn’t believe that all hope was lost for his side.
By Alex Hough.
He claimed: “We dominated the game up to the point of the first goal, but after that we couldn’t master the game.
“Chelsea was the more controlled team in the decisive moments. In the second half, when we were playing better, we lost another goal and then a third – again from a set piece. We aren’t dependent on anyone else in order to qualify. We knew this was the most place to come to and there were many things against us.”
Fernandez had been confident of a result following Porto’s first league win of the season last weekend, but accepted his team’s fallibility at set pieces.
“We didn’t defend well,” HE ADDED.
“We had the handicap of being up against three of the best headers of the ball in world football, in Drogba, Terry and Ricardo Caravalho. And Frank Lampard, who’s a great fighter. One of our first disadvantages was the physical difference. In the aerial game and in the physical game. Chelsea is one of the most athletic teams in Europe.”
Despite the loss, Fernandez remains optimistic.
“All the teams in the Champions League are beatable and Chelsea is no exception,” hhe continued.
“There is still a long time before we play against them in the Dragao. Anything is possible, there are no invincible teams. There is much room for improvement.”
Fernandez denied that the defeat would harm Porto’s domestic aspirations.
“The domestic championship is a completely different competition, with different necessities,” he said.
“Winning or losing here won’t mean anything in relation to Sunday’s game against Belenenses. I want my team to be sufficiently stable, emotionally, so that this defeat doesn’t affect them.”