Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Gunes wants more after historic Besiktas Champions League qualification

SoccerNews in UEFA Champions League 21 Nov 2017

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Senol Gunes demanded more from Besiktas after his side booked a place in the knockout rounds of the Champions League for the first time.

A 1-1 home draw with Porto at Vodafone Park on Tuesday – secured thanks to an equaliser from Anderson Talisca – was enough to see the Super Eagles through as winners of Group G with a game to spare.

But even though Besiktas are writing new chapters in the history of the club, Gunes is keen for his team to avoid making up the numbers in the next round.

“The draw can be regarded as a clear result,” Gunes said. “We are happy. We had an extraordinary desire to get out of the group today.

“Both in the Champions League and in the Europa League, we lost in the last two seasons. Today we did not want to see such pain and it was a very good job for us.

“We showed that we are the best team in the group, it shows that we represent Turkey well. We want to show what we can do with the players we have in the next round.”

Porto are level on points with RB Leipzig heading into the final matchday, with coach Sergio Conceicao satisfied by the performance of his team in an intimidating Istanbul atmosphere.

“I thought the result was a fair one,” said Conceicao, whose side led thanks to Felipe’s thunderbolt against the run of play. 

“It was a good game from our point of view, we played at a consistent level. At the start of the second half we lost possession a couple of times and that encouraged Besiktas to press even more.

“I thought the key moment of the game came when Ricardo [Pereira] was alone in front of their goalkeeper but he didn’t manage to score.

“Sergio [Oliveira] didn’t play in the last three games and from that point of view I thought he did well, Maxi [Pereira] too. Whenever different squad members come in, they always do very well and that’s one of the strengths we have.”

Porto host already-eliminated Monaco on matchday six knowing that victory will send them through regardless of Leipzig’s result at home to Besiktas due to their superior head-to-head record against the Bundesliga outfit.

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