Petkovic: Exit was expected

Lazio coach Vladimir Petkovic acknowledged after his team's Europa League exit at the hands of Fenerbahce on Thursday night that the tie had been lost in the first leg.

Last Updated: 12/04/13 at 10:15 Post Comment

Vladimir Petkovic: Refused to criticise his players

Vladimir Petkovic: Refused to criticise his players

The Rome club, hosting the second leg of the quarter-final behind closed doors due to recent racist behaviour by their fans, faced an uphill battle having lost 2-0 in Istanbul last week.

For 70 minutes they put up a determined fight and Senad Lulic's goal just after the hour mark gave them hope, but Caner Erkin's powerful equaliser - the visitors' first shot on target - ended Italian hopes and put Fener into the final four of a European competition for the first time.

"We compromised our qualification chances in the first leg," Petkovic said on Sky Italia.

"However, congratulations to the players. I'm happy with how they performed in the game - commitment right up to the 90th minute.

"We tried to win it, even if it no longer counted. We saw a Lazio who produced 15 times what the opponents did (attempts on goal). With a little more precision we could have won.

"Now we need patience and to rest well. We will take a breather before a good game on Monday evening against Juventus and will do everything to win."

Germany striker Miroslav Klose was introduced in the second half and failed to have the desired impact, but Petkovic refused to point the finger at any individual.

"I cannot blame anyone," he said. "Everyone gave their all - they fought right to the end."

Petkovic admitted the team missed having the support of their fans as they battled to continue their European campaign in the eerie surrounds of a virtually empty Stadio Olimpico.

"They would have helped," he said. "I'm sure, especially at 1-0 our fans would have given us the edge."

He added on www.gazzetta.it: "One of the regrets is not being at 100 per cent in this tie, but another is that we had 15 shots on goal and did not win this game.

"But we should not cry over things that cannot be changed. The boys gave their all to turn around the negative result of Istanbul, but I'm very happy."

Fenerbahce forward Dirk Kuyt hailed a momentous day for the Turkish club.

Quoted on spor.haberturk.com, the Holland international said: "Today was an historic day indeed. Rome is an historic city and although we arrived leading 2-0 it is not easy to maintain.

"We worked hard and did not panic when we went a goal down.

"Reaching the semi-finals is something for all of us, and is very important for all of Turkey."

Football365 Facebook Fan Page

The Football365 fan page is a great place to meet like minded people, have football related discussions and make new friends.

Related News

Sky Bet

    • Retrieving latest Sky Bet odds

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

I

may well get slated by other United fans for this, but out of the three contenders, I'd far prefer Liverpool to win the title. Yes some elements of their fanbase can be a bit OTT, yes they're our biggest rivals and yes it will make our poor season feel even more like the end of an era (Fergie's gone, Liverpool are back on top). However I just have to applaud Brendan Rodgers and the way he's turned Liverpool around in just a couple of seasons. It...

Mike_Christie
Please Stop Telling Us What To Think

H

ooray! We are all excited now, we beat a very mediocre team! With all due respect to WHU supporters, not winning that game shouldn't even be a consideration. This is the problem, there is no winning mentality at the Emirates - we're all congratulating ourselves beating a team that we have a winning record against.

TheWhiz
Wenger hails important win

I

s this meant to be an aspiration for United supporters? Moyes mediocrity strikes again. I see the Bayern boys don't want to sign for him, and his reputation amongst the senior European coaches make other key signings unlikely.

redbornandbred
De Gea's Europa League target

Footer 365

Roberto Martinez feels Everton have moved on since Marouane Fellaini joined Man United

Roberto Martinez has questioned where former Everton midfielder Marouane Fellaini would fit into his current team.

Premier League: Steven Gerrard hopes 'phenomenal' Brendan Rodgers enjoys long Liverpool reign

Captain Steven Gerrard has hailed Brendan Rodgers as "phenomenal" and hopes the manager can build a legacy at Liverpool.

World Cup 2014: Jack Wilshere in good shape for England, says Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is confident England midfielder Jack Wilshere will be in good shape for the World Cup.

Mail Box

That's Why We Didn't Want Jose At United

There is plenty of reaction to Mourinho's antics (Isn't that exactly what he wanted?) plus thoughts on Connor Wickham, Fabio Borini, beach balls and Tim Sherwood...

Kieran's Not The Only One Keeping Notes

Another chap in the mailbox has been keeping notes on comments made by optimistic Man United fans. Plus, Garey Vance is offering a double-or-quits on his new tattoo...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property