Fernandes delighted with Sporting’s resilience
Sporting CP claimed a valuable point in Thursday’s Europa League clash at Arsenal, leaving Tiago Fernandes delighted.
Tiago Fernandes praised Sporting CP’s discipline as they claimed a rare Europa League clean sheet away from home against Arsenal to put them within touching distance of the knockout stage.
For the first time since September 2011, Sporting managed not to concede in a Europa League away clash, ending a run of 18 games with Thursday’s 0-0 draw at the Emirates Stadium.
While the Group E clash was far from a classic, for Sporting it represented a job well done in London and Fernandes was pleased with his side’s display.
“The players did exactly what I asked them to do,” he told UEFA.com.
“In our gameplan we know we had to be rigorous and they were almost perfect on that.
“We were aware of the opponent’s quality, but we, knowing our capacity and being creative and aggressive with and without ball, could try to surprise here.”
Defender Sebastian Coates also expressed his delight at keeping Arsenal at bay, and giving Sporting a great chance of progressing to the last 32.
He said: “It was a very hard match against a great side knowing that having a point here would be good for us, although a win was always in our minds.
“With the result of the other match [Qarabag beating Vorskla 1-0], a win in the next one will qualify us, so we have to think game by game.”
Arsenal (10 points) and Sporting (seven) are in complete control of the group, sitting clear of Vorskla and Qarabag (three).