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ROBBO'S PAIN IN SPAIN

Posted on 6 April 2007  - 12:00

You felt Paul Robinson was determined to move on to Saturday’s clash at Chelsea but couldn’t help but reflect on the penalty decision that turned Thursday night’s UEFA Cup quarter-final first leg against Sevilla.

You felt Paul Robinson was determined to move on to Saturday’s clash at Chelsea but couldn’t help but reflect on the penalty decision that turned Thursday night’s UEFA Cup quarter-final first leg against Sevilla.

We made the perfect start in the Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan Stadium when Robbie Keane slotted home a crucial away goal with a little over a minute on the clock.

In control of the early exchanges, things changed drastically when Adriano capitalised on a defensive mix-up and burst through on goal only for Robbo to come out and make a textbook sliding interception with his hands.

Incredibly, the referee pointed to the spot, Fredi Kanoute equalised and with the lads clearly shell-shocked, Sevilla took over with Aleksandr Kerxhakov heading home for 2-1 at the break.

We regained some control in the second half, a half of fewer chances with Keane and Steed Malbranque going close and Kanoute heading just wide.

But the talk afterwards centred on that penalty call. “It was very frustrating, as you can probably understand,” reflected a naturally disappointed Robbo afterwards.

“We gave ourselves an opportunity by getting the early goal but that decision has got them back into the game and given them the lift to go and get the second.

“I think weaker teams might have crumbled but we showed a lot of character. We dominated the game in the second half without creating too much but we showed we’ve still got a chance in this tie.”

Attention turns quickly back to domestic matters with no less than a trip to Stamford Bridge in the Premiership on Saturday, a 12.45pm kick-off.

Last Sunday’s win over Reading took us into sixth – although Everton might change that when they play Fulham tonight (Friday) – and made it five-successive league wins.

“We can’t just sit there and moan about the penalty, we’ve got a big game against Chelsea on Saturday and then Sevilla at the Lane next week,” added Robbo.

“Chelsea have a strong squad whoever plays – whether it’s Shevchenko, Drogba or Kalou up front - and we are preparing for another tough game.

“We’ve a good chance of getting back into the UEFA Cup through the league and that’s what we’re concentrating on.”




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