Porto lost to Chelsea in their last group game in Europe which saw them getting knocked out of the competition as well, but, the manager Julen Lopetegui was impressed with the fight shown by the team.
The Portuguese club had been able to secure three points facing the Blues earlier in the competition in September and they needed to do it again at Bridge on Wednesday to make sure they remain at the second position in the Group G standings. But, it wasn’t to be.
Porto could still have made the pre quarters if Dynamo Kyiv, which was at no. 3, had not downed Maccabi Tel Aviv in another Group G game going on in that same time period, but, that result did not went in their favour either.
Kyiv won and with that, they managed to overtake Porto in the standings.
While, Lopetegui appeared disappointed with the elimination, he did not look to come down hard on the players.
Talking to the media later in the evening, Lopetegui said, “If we had avoided the defeat the other day at home, the situation would not have been complicated for us coming into this game. Ten points generally prove to be sufficient for a team to advance.”
“Playing Chelsea at Bridge, it was always going to be a huge challenge. They are not an easy team to beat. We tried our best. Especially after the break, I thought we were fantastic. But, they were stronger than us on the day.”
When asked about his decision to not start with some of his big players in such a big game, the Spaniard said, “We’ve had a number of matches of late. So, there were a few physical issues.”
Porto will now resume their Primeira Liga campaign as they take on Nacional at Estadio da Madeira in the weekend.