A first European victory in almost 43 years for A. Académica de Coimbra gave the Portuguese Cup holders great cause for celebration, with their two-goal hero against holders Club Atlético de Madrid, Wilson Eduardo, saying they had given their fans a result to be proud of.
The Rojiblancos, meanwhile, saw their European record 16-game winning run in UEFA competition come to an end, yet midfielders Koke and Saúl Ñiguez told UEFA.com the UEFA Europa League Group B leaders would respond positively on matchday five.
Wilson Eduardo, Académica forward
It's always important to score goals, that's what I try to do every day. Of course, I'm delighted to be able to help Académica achieve such a huge win. I scored both goals but the main thing was the result. Our fans have been hoping for a win like this for a long time and we're delighted we managed to give them something to be proud of. We have beaten a great team and, of course, we're thrilled with that, but we have to keep focused and keep our feet on the ground, especially with another game on Sunday.
The secret to beating Atlético was doing what we try to do in every match: be united and have ambition. If every player is focused and thinks about the team instead of themselves, things will go our way – just as they did tonight. The team deserves praise, as do our fans, who were great all night. We are well aware that our situation in the group is very difficult despite tonight's victory, but we still believe it is possible to qualify. We will try to win our last two matches and see where that leaves us.
Makelele, Académica midfielder
It's hard to find the words to describe such an important win. We have just beaten the second-placed team in the Spanish league and the holders of the trophy, so you can imagine how happy we are. Now it's time to celebrate this success, especially because it didn't come easy. The biggest difference tonight [from the first game] was our mentality and the way we approached the match. We didn't have the same approach in Madrid. It's not every day you beat a team like Atlético and I really think this win will end up in the history books. While we are still alive, we will hold on to the hope we can qualify. We'll do our best to win our next match in order to set up a last group game that will be like a final for us.
Koke, Atlético midfielder
We tried everything, but they defended well and created chances on the counterattack. They scored from two good opportunities, one a penalty and the first that came from a throw-in. We are continuing with the same hope and expectation as ever despite this result [and the weekend loss to Valencia CF]. Our philosophy remains to keep working hard and take things game by game. This match is over and the most important thing is to start focusing on the weekend and the Liga. Mathematically we haven't qualified and we'll be looking to win both our remaining games in the group – as we do every match. That's what it means to be Atlético de Madrid.
Saúl Ñiguez, Atlético midfielder
I am a bit down. This was the day I made my first senior start, which I was happy about, but it wasn't a good result for us at the end of the day. These winning or unbeaten runs don't really matter to us, and if one has come to an end today, we'll just have to win our next match and start another. We have not qualified yet and you have to fight to the death in every UEFA Europa League match, which is what we'll be doing in our two remaining games. There's a lot still to play for in the section.
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