"An extremely dangerous result for the second leg"
Marcel Schmelzer was quick to jump to the defence of top-goalscorer Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang during an interview with BVBtotal! following the unlucky defeat in Lisbon. "If he has an off day from time to time, that's fine," said the captain, before turning his attention to March's return leg: "We're facing a very, very difficult task. The result makes it very dangerous."
You deserved to get the win tonight, or a draw at the very least. How do you assess your performance tonight, taking into consideration the match against Darmstadt last week? This was a completely different competition. We were prepared for this, too. As you saw, Benfica are not just any old team. There is a reason they are in the last 16 of the UEFA Champions League. So it wasn't easy for us. Nonetheless, I don't think anyone can make any accusations of us. We created a real lot of chances but unfortunately we were not able to convert any of them. That was very unlucky. Then there's the fact that Benfica's goalkeeper excelled himself in several situations – even though he should have been given his marching orders by the referee in the first half. I think that was a clear foul. But that's how it goes. Now we need to get through. We're facing a very, very tough task in the second leg. The result makes it very dangerous.
What did Benfica do better than you? Unfortunately that can be summed up short and sweet: they took the one and only chance they had.
"We need to be fully focused in the return leg"
The biggest chance fell to Auba, who missed a penalty. Were you all able to cheer him up a little? Of course, that goes without saying. Auba has already scored so many goals for us, got us so many victories with his goals. If he has an off day from time to time, that's absolutely fine. That's exactly what we've just said to him, although he probably already knows that himself. Hopefully he'll be back among the goals at the weekend and in the return leg.
What does this 1-0 scoreline mean for the return leg in Dortmund? It's an extremely difficult result. You can imagine how Benfica will set themselves up to play. We will need to be fully focused, because we can't afford to concede an away goal, and make better use of the chances we create. If we manage those things, we should be able to make it through. (djg)