UEFA Cup results
“It was a terrific performance, we were driven back all night. It was a fabulous effort-the players are all out on their feet. They were amazing to keep going like they did.”
O’Neill also singled out his 19-year-old goalkeeper, David Marshall, who stood in for the suspended Robert Douglas.
“Some of our younger players really came of age out there,’ said the Celtic coach. ‘He [Marshall] walked into the dressing room to fantastic applause from the rest of the side.”
Celtic striker Henrik Larsson also praised Marshall’s performance, “I think he is too young to have any nerves-he doesn’t realise how big it was. He was tremendous-from the first minute of the game onwards.”
“I don’t think you can have a better full European debut so I’m very pleased for him.”
Marshall himself is just hoping to get picked again for Sunday’s Old Firm derby against Rangers at Ibrox. “I will just push him [Douglas] all the way and hopefully see what the manager thinks,” said the teenager.
Liverpool boss Gerard Houllier was left admitting his job was on the line after his side’s 3-2 aggregate loss to Marseille.
“I have joked recently that it is not the players that get you the sack, but referees – and that referee has dealt a bad blow for Liverpool Football Club.”
Houllier believed the turning point of the game was the referee’s decision to award a second-half penalty and send-off Igor Biscan.
“It was a very harsh decision, and the wrong one,’ he said. ‘If he did something wrong, he did it outside the area. I felt the incident was three or four yards outside the box.”
“I saw something happen, but it was well outside the box and maybe should have been just a free-kick – but a penalty and red card is two bad decisions.”
“It came at a time when we were on top and their crowd were beginning to turn on them. No one seemed to appeal-I thought it was a goal kick.”
Newcastle boss Sir Bobby Robson has been handed a quarter-final tie against his former club, PSV Eindoven, after his side’s 7-1 aggregate win over Real Mallorca.
Robson said: “I spent three years of my managerial life a PSV and they were happy years – great years.”
“It is a wonderful club with wonderful people and I am very pleased to go back. I have fond memories and just hope we can knock them out.”
Robson remained furious with Laurent Robert’s reaction to being replaced by Hugo Viana in the 66th minute of the match.
“I put him on and I took him off. I did not like his performance and that is why I took him off,’ he said. ‘If he does not like it he can lump it.”
However, was happier with striker Craig Bellamy’s goal-scoring contribution after his earlier bust-up with coach John Carver.
“He has had a great two days,” joked Robson. “He has been in the papers every day. He loves it.”
Inter beat Benfica 4-3 – a result which left Benifca coach, Jose Antonio Camacho, left lamenting his side’s defending.
Camacho said: “In a competition like the UEFA Cup you cannot give opponents these kind of gifts without being punished. It is impossible to give players like Vieri and Martins so much space.”
“In the first half we played much better than them but it is unbelievable how we managed to concede three goals to counterattacks when we were playing away against a side who needed to score.”
Inter coach Alberto Zaccheroni was happy with his side’s second-half performance.
“In the first half we were not aggressive enough,’ he said. ‘After the 0-0 draw in the first leg we had to take risks, so after the break I fielded three forwards and two attacking midfield players. We conceded three goals because our midfield was set to attack, not defend.
Inter now face Liverpool’s conquers, Marseille in the quarter-finals.
PSV Einhoven’s coach Guus Hiddink hailed his side’s discipline after their 3-0 victory gave them a 4-1 aggregate win over Auxerre.
“It was a very good all-round performance on our part, we looked tight in defence, worked hard and produced ideas in midfield and scored the goals you need up front,’ said Hiddink.
‘We never lost our way and when we got the third goal it was game over for Auxerre.”
“Our solid performance at the back was the key to success because Auxerre have some very fast and strong players.”
Bordeaux’s coach Michel Pavon said his team deserved their 4-1 aggregate win over Club Brugge.
“This tie was an opposition of styles, Brugge with their tall forwards, proceeded to try an win the match almost entirely through punting long passes for their strikers in the box but my shorter players were more technical and put together a lot of combinations,” declared the Bordeaux coach.
“I have to congratulate my young team for the standard of football they produced,’ Pavon continued.
‘My defenders were less physically imposing than the Brugge attackers but we managed to dominate them in the air.”
Fabio Capello insisted his Roma side will be back next year after they lost 3-2 to Villarreal.
“I think that the players did their best and we put them under a lot of pressure,’ said a disappointed Capello. ‘They had obnly one chance and they scored so all I can do is congratulate them.”
“We shouldn’t have lost in the first leg but it’s too late now to complain. It doesn’t matter, we’ll be back next year and things will be different.”