Unai Emery praised his Sevilla side for refusing to give up after they booked their place in the Europa League semi-finals courtesy of a penalty shoot-out win over Athletic Bilbao.
Defending champions Sevilla held a 2-1 advantage going into the return leg at home against Athletic but things did not exactly go to plan for Emery’s men.
Athletic striker Aritz Aduriz kept up his great goal-scoring form to put the visitors ahead at Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium in the 57th minute, but Kevin Gameiro struck back for Sevilla less than 120 seconds later.
Raul Garcia’s header with 10 minutes left to play sent the game into extra time, but Sevilla prevailed in the shoot-out to book their place in the last four.
“Happiness is felt all around Sevilla. We have arrived for the third consecutive time in the semi-finals which is not easy,” Emery said.
“We were prepared for the possibility of extra time and penalties. We have to give credit to Athletic for a great tie.
“But Sevilla never gives up.”
Gameiro struck the winning the penalty for Sevilla despite being injured, but Emery said that was not going to affect his ability to take on the responsibility.
“The first medical assessment was that he could not take the penalty, but I spoke to him and if he scored two years ago injured, he was going to hit it,” he said.
“We knew he had taken one injured, and so if he could hit it, he was going to have to step up.”