Like his coach and president, Olympique Lyonnais midfielder Corentin Tolisso was bursting with pride and setting sights on the trophy after the 7-6 penalty shoot-out elimination of Besiktas JK in Istanbul.
Thursday, April 20, 2017
UEFA Europa League quarter-finals, second leg
Besiktas Arena, Istanbul
Besiktas JK - Olympique Lyonnais (agg. 3-3, Lyon win 6-7 on penalties)
Senol Gunes (Besiktas JK coach): "We are heart-broken that we won't be able to see the month of May in the Europa League this season. With a promising result from the first leg, we were hoping to make the semi-finals. However, despite giving our best and creating many opportunities throughout the game, we lost our qualification chances on a close penalty shoot-out. My players are holding their heads high because they represented Turkey quite well in this tournament. Now, we will focus on winning the Turkish national title and earning a ticket to the next year's Champions League. We'll be back next season."
Bruno Genesio (Olympique Lyonnais coach): "It was an unforgettable evening as there was plenty of suspense. It was a real European cup match, with both sides upholding the principles of fair play. That's how football should be. We controlled things for long periods - with the notable exception of the start of the second half - but when you don't have that sliver of luck, or when the opposition 'keeper makes incredible saves, things get complicated. Then we went to penalties. I knew at that moment that we had been eliminated 18 times out of 24 in that kind of situation. But we beat fate. I'd like to congratulate the players, all the technical staff and the fans, who unfortunately couldn't be here. And I'd like to thank my president, who has always supported me in tough moments."
Corentin Tolisso (Olympique Lyonnais midfielder): "It was a stressful night, with a penalty shootout that saw the first five go in for both teams. Anthony [Lopes] made two saves and Max [Gonalons] finished the job. Now we need to go all the way. We saw our team spirit tonight. There were 50 people representing Lyon against 40,000 representing Besiktas, and we came out on top. We can be proud of ourselves."
Jean-Michel Aulas (Olympique Lyonnais president): "This is an unforgettable moment, for the whole team, the coach and the club. We have great physical and mental capabilities. Winning away to Besiktas after extra time means that the players played a model match. We saw all the solidarity of the OL family. That warms my heart. Our club has two teams in the semi-finals of a European Cup. But we're not satisfied. This may be the year when we suffered the most, but it could also be a great year. It would be nice to wait to meet Manchester because they're probably the strongest team. We need to steer clear of making predictions, though."