All the emotions - Andre
Andre Villas-Boas said the realisation of a ‘fantastic achievement’ in overcoming both Lyon and Inter Milan to reach the quarter-finals of the Europa League would probably only sink in at Friday’s draw – after 'a lot of suffering' in the Round of 16 second leg at the San Siro on Thursday night.
Roles were reversed from last week’s first leg at the Lane where we dominated and secured a 3-0 victory to take to Italy.
Although never really dominating us in terms of possession, momentum was with Inter as soon as Antonio Cassano headed home in the 20th minute for 1-0 on the night, 3-1 on aggregate.
The lead was cut again seven minutes into the second half through Rodrigo Palacio and it was level on aggregate at 3-3 when William Gallas diverted Cassano’s free-kick into his own net 15 minutes from time.
Esteban Cambiasso went close to winning the tie in added time but in extra time the moment we needed – Emmanuel Adebayor struck from close range for the vital away goal for a 4-3 overall lead and, crucially, meaning Inter had to score twice more to progress.
Typical of the match, substitute Ricardo Alvarez headed home for 4-1 on the night, 4-4 on aggregate but the away goal took us through to the last eight.
“We went through all the emotions,” admitted Andre at the San Siro. “The fans were there for us when it was not looking good and the players were there to reach this wonderful objective that we continue to pursue.
“These are the positives of a night that didn’t go our way. I don’t think Inter are as bad as they showed at White Hart Lane and were not as bad as we showed tonight.
“One thing we could see was that the players really wanted to achieve the objective because they kept on fighting even if the game wasn't going their way.
“We always looked on the back foot and we couldn't find our football, that's why we struggled so much. In the end, we managed to score away from home which was our objective but only in extra time and after a lot of suffering.
“Tomorrow, when we see the draw, we will understand what we have achieved.
“Maybe it wasn’t in the fashion we wanted but we will understand that we were in a difficult group in the qualifying phase, we had two very difficult knockout ties with away games as the second leg and we managed to go through against Lyon and Inter Milan which is a tremendous achievement for everybody.”