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Lads showed real spirit - Andre

Posted on 23 November 2012  - 04:24

Andre Villas-Boas praised the players for their efforts after Thursday night's hard-fought 0-0 draw against Lazio in the Stadio Olimpico.

We started promisingly enough and had a goal ruled out for offside, but the in-form Serie A side steadily grew in confidence and ended up pushing us back in both halves.

Hugo Lloris made a string of fine saves including twice getting the better of Libor Kozak in one-on-one situations and argubly his best in the first half to tip Cristian Ledesma's curling effort onto the woodwork and to safety.

The point took Lazio through to the knockout stage of the competition and we'll follow them into the Round of 32 as long as we avoid defeat against Panathinaikos in our final match in Group J at the Lane on Thursday, December 6.

"We had an extremely good 20 minutes at the beginning where we looked in control of possession and created the chance to go 1-0 up," reflected Andre.

"Lazio gained momentum with their opportunities and they put us on the back foot, that’s the reality.

"We came to the second half and had a good 10, 15 minutes again, but Lazio's first chance put us on the back foot again and we struggled.

"I see it as a mirror of the game at White Hart Lane (where we dominated in a 0-0 draw), but going Lazio’s way this time, not ours.

"I can only compliment the lads for their efforts. We played 70 minutes against Arsenal with 10 men being brave, being bold and then came here and played a good intensive game.

"We didn’t have the clear-cut chances like we had in previous games, but the lads did well in their effort. The spirit is there and passion is there.

"We want to get things back on track in terms of winning ways and we now have the opportunity to do that against West Ham on Sunday."

Hugo in action vs Lazio

Meanwhile, Andre was full of praise for Hugo. "He deserves our respect," he said.

"In situations where we could have suffered, he was there for us. It was an extremely good performance, for sure."