No other team will produce a performance against Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu like the one Sporting CP put in on Wednesday, according to Jorge Jesus.
Sporting were the superior side in the first half of their Champions League Group F clash in the Spanish capital and were rewarded with a goal from Bruno Cesar two minutes after the restart.
The Portuguese side appeared on course for a historic first win at the Bernabeu, but Cristiano Ronaldo rifled home an excellent 25-yard free-kick to equalise against his former club.
Alvaro Morata then headed in a winner for Madrid in the 94th minute, and Jesus – who was sent to the stands in the second half for protesting the referee’s decision to book William Carvalho – rued his team’s lack of experience.
Despite suffering defeat, the coach does not envisage anyone pushing the Champions League holders as hard as his side did.
“We know what qualities we have no matter who we play and we showed tactical discipline. We were excellent until the 88th minute and the Madrid substitutes helped change the game. When new players came on we lost a bit,” Jesus said.
This result hurts but what a fantastic display by our boys in Madrid. Thank you to the thousands of Sportinguistas for your support! #UCL
— Sporting CP_en (@SportingCP_en) September 14, 2016
“I think we played a great game, but we need a bit more experience. The Ronaldo goal was great, he’s the best player in the world and that happens. It shouldn’t have been able to, but it happened.
“No side will play here in Madrid as well as we have done. They didn’t have a single chance in the first half, but there’s a reason they’re European champions.
“They have that mentality and reputation and changed the game in two minutes. We lost in a game in which we played with great spirit. We didn’t deserve to lose.
“It presents a lot to think about. If we’d have won or drawn it would have been a different outlook but as we’ve lost it’s different.
“We played a great game but we didn’t get any points and the whole group stage of competition is that we have to get points.”
Sporting entertain Legia Warsaw, who opened their campaign with a 6-0 defeat to Borussia Dortmund, in their next Champions League outing on September 27.