"It's never a good result when you lose." That was Stephan Lichtsteiner's first rueful comment as he stepped up to the microphones after the final whistle at the Estadio Da Luz.
That's not to say all is lost – quite the opposite in fact. The Swiss wideman explained: "It was important to get a goal here, and considering the number of chances we created we might well have added a second or a third. Sadly we weren't able to do that but we're positive going into the second leg."
The 30-year-old did admit that he felt a tinge of regret about that opening goal conceded inside the first two minutes. "That sort of thing can always happen but we have to make sure it doesn't."
Benfica's style of play enabled the wing-back to make plenty of forays into enemy territory over the 90 minutes. He observed: "They left lots of space at the back, there were opportunities there to exploit. In the first half we played too quickly, instead of getting the ball out to the wide areas as we did after the break."
Lichtsteiner ended by declaring that a place in the Europa League final remains firmly in the Bianconeri's sights. "We feel confident that we'll be able to play the final at our home," he concluded.