Montella: I still believe

Sevilla coach Vincenzo Montella downplayed his side’s chances of making the last four of the Champions League following their 2-1 quarter-final first leg home defeat to Bayern Munich on Tuesday, but said he still believed they could turn it around.

Deflected efforts from Franck Ribery and Thiago Alcantara gave the German champions the win after Pablo Sabaria had given Sevilla the lead, meaning the Spaniards will need to win at the Allianz Arena if they are to progress.

Speaking after the match, Montella remained positive, although he admitted that his team have a mountain to climb when asked about their chance of pulling off a shock in the second leg next week

“Not much, but we’re going to play with the same pride as tonight, and some more,” he replied.

“Things are possible if you believe, and I still believe. The percentages might be low, but we’ve got to play them.”

The Italian then went on to bemoan Sevilla’s bad fortune.

“We didn’t have any luck. I’m grateful to my players for playing an excellent game against a really high-level opponent.

“The team deserved more. We had a perfect tactical shape in the first half. The first goal on the counter was a shame. It didn’t demoralise us, but we lost inertia.

“The second half was more level but we didn’t have the energy to play on the counter-attack. We had some shots in the last few minutes and I liked that a lot, but the two goals were a shame.”

He also praised the mental toughness of his team, adding that they would need to rely on it if they are to have a chance in the return leg.

“I’m happy with the team. They finished with little physical energy but a lot important mental strength. That strength is what we’ve got to take to Munich.”