LISBON, April 10 (Reuters) – Benfica have quickly put behind them their Primeira Liga defeat to Porto on Friday and are fully focused on Tuesday’s Champions League tie against Inter Milan, coach Roger Schmidt insisted.
Benfica lost only their second league game of the season in a surprise 2-1 home defeat to Porto but still hold a seven-point advantage over their rivals at the top of the standings.
The result, however, raised questions about Benfica’s form going into Tuesday’s first leg of their quarter-final in Lisbon.
“It’s part of football that sometimes you lose games. On Friday we lost an important game, but we’ve won a lot before and we always try to use the wins to develop and to grow and also with the defeats you can use them to create some positive,” Schmidt told a Monday news conference.
Benfica have won 23 of 27 league matches this season and also qualified for the Champions League last eight for a second successive season.
“I saw my team very quickly looking forward again. For the last few days we were completely focused on the game against Inter,” the German-born coach added
Inter have not been in top form either, having gone six games without a win in all competitions, but Schmidt cautioned against taking them lightly.
“In the knockout stage you have to expect the opponent at their top level. For both teams it’s very important, both expended a lot of energy to reach this round.
“We expect a top side, a very concentrated one, but this is also what we expect for ourselves. We have to be ready for a side with individual quality, and we need a top performance,” he said.
Schmidt said defender Alex Grimaldo, who missed training on Monday, would be available for selection but Benfica will be without the suspended Nicolas Otamendi and injured Danish international Alexander Bah.
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