Villarreal coach Manuel Pellegrini says his team’s progress to the semi-finals of the Champions League was fully deserved.
“I wouldn’t class this as a miracle or as a dream come true,” said the Chilean after his side beat Inter 1-0 to go through to the last four on away goals.
“Our success is based on hard work and the construction of a good squad in recent years.
“We have also got some great players, maybe not as many as sides like Inter or Manchester United. But I would sum up our success as a combination of conviction and hard work.”
Villarreal, debutants in the competition, lost 2-1 in the first leg in Milan, but looked the better team in the return leg in Spain.
Pellegrini said he was always confident his side would prevail against Inter.
“I was convinced we would eliminate Inter as I thought we lost unjustly in Milan,” he said. “We knew we were playing against a great team, but we are a great team too.
“More importantly our players were not satisfied with what they had done. We played a great game and we were better than Inter.
“I wouldn’t say we crushed them, but we always had them under control and they were never comfortable. It was an even first half, but we were in charge in the second and we could have won more handsomely.”
Inter coach Roberto Mancini said he was disappointed that his team had threatened so little in the tie.
“The first half was quite even, but we did little to merit a goal and we didn’t concentrate enough in defence. We just didn’t play well.
“The shame was that we couldn’t achieve our objective of reaching the semi-finals of the Champions League. Maybe we should have scored another goal in the first leg in Italy.”
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