Oblak on Champions League exit and Europa League plansDecember 6, 2017
Atletico Madrid keeper Jan Oblak has said he and his team-mates did not do enough to warrant qualification in the Champions League.
Heading into the game at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday evening, Diego Simeone’s side knew they had it all to do to qualify and had to rely on a result in the Roma-Qarabag game.
A 1-0 lead thanks to Saul Niguez gave the Spanish side hope, but Roma’s opener over in Italy saw their chances of qualification turn into nothing short of a miracle.
The Italian side held on to their lead and secured all three points, whilst Eden Hazard found an equaliser for Chelsea.
Their exit leaves a bitter taste after reaching two finals in recent seasons, meaning focus now turns to the Europa League, a competition they have won on two occasions.
Oblak, was speaking to press after the game and he bemoaned his side’s poor showing in the previous group games.
“It hurts us all and all our fans,” the goalkeeper said after the game.
“We didn’t play like we needed to in some games, while we were unlucky in others. Still, we have to look forward.
“It’s a very tough blow to take, but we all have to get up and keep working hard. It hurts because the Champions League was our great objective.
“We went far in it before, but now we’ve failed in the group stage. We can’t be happy. The Europa League wasn’t our objective, but we’ll fight to win it, as we will the League and the Copa.
“We all worked hard tonight, like we have in all our games. It’s normal to come out more in some games, but we’re a team of 11 players, those who are on the bench and those in the stands.”
Elsewhere, on Tuesday – Barcelona beat Sporting Lisbon 2-0 thanks to goals from Paco Alcacer and a Jeremy Mathieu own goal.
The Catalan side had already qualified for the next round and chose to leave Sergio Busquets and Lionel Messi on the bench at the Camp Nou.
Real Madrid and Sevilla finish off their group games on Wednesday evening, meeting Dortmund and Maribor, respectively.