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Posted on 13 April 2007  - 12:00

Martin Jol said the lads were left shellshocked by the eight minutes that ultimately shattered our UEFA Cup dream against Sevilla at the Lane on Thursday night.

Martin Jol said the lads were left shellshocked by the eight minutes that ultimately shattered our UEFA Cup dream against Sevilla at the Lane on Thursday night.

The first goal was always going to be vital as we looked to overturn a 2-1 deficit from the first leg of the quarter-final but not only did the Spanish title-chasers grab that opener, they bagged two goals inside the first eight minutes to leave us with a mountain to climb.

Steed Malbranque sliced Christian Poulsen's header into his own net to hand the UEFA Cup holders the perfect start inside two minutes and when Fredi Kanoute added the second, it meant we had to win 4-2 on the night to progress on aggregate.

Sevilla continued to carve out chances in the first half and it took until the latter stages for our recovery to start when Dimitar Berbatov struck the post.

The second half was a different story though. Jermain Defoe marked his arrival off the bench with a goal with his first touch on 65 minutes and just over a minute later it was game on as Aaron Lennon prodded home from close range to make it 2-2 on the night, 4-3 on aggregate.

Further chances were created but we couldn't find the vital third goal to set up a grandstand finish, the aggregate scoreline staying at 4-3 to Sevilla, who now face fellow Spaniards Osasuna in the semi-final.

A dejected Martin reflected: "If you play a European tie at home and concede a goal like we did in the second minute it's more than a blow, but it's still do-able.

"To then concede a second goal five minutes later, it's almost shock - the score is 2-0 and you realise that you have to score four goals.

"That is why I feel, on the positive side, in the second half we did better than you could expect from a team that is out of the UEFA Cup because if you have to score four goals, it's almost impossible.

"Having said that if we would have scored a third goal we might have done it, but those first eight minutes have cost us. All the damage was done in that spell.

"The lads were shellshocked at half-time but they showed a lot of resilence in the second half. All we could do was play for pride and that's what we did."