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  • Sporting 3-0 Everton: deserved to win

    "We needed this win and we deserved it," was Tonel's summary of Sporting Clube de Portugal's UEFA Europa League elimination of Everton, for whom Phil Jagielka had the consolation of a comeback.

    Defender Tonel said Sporting Clube de Portugal "deserved to win" after a 3-0 victory against Everton at the Estádio José Alvalade ensured they overcame a UEFA Europa League round of 32 deficit to progress.

    Although Everton prevailed 2-1 at Goodison Park last week, Miguel Veloso's late penalty had put Sporting back in the tie. He struck again in Lisbon with 25 minutes left to give his side an away goals lead before Pedro Mendes and Matías Fernández sealed a 4-2 aggregate success and rubber-stamped a last-16 tie with Club Atlético de Madrid next month.

    "We needed this win and we deserved it," Tonel said. "We gave an excellent, very focused display. We controlled the match perfectly against a team who are not easy opponents. Our football caused them problems and we managed to exploit that, keeping and passing the ball with patience."

    The victory was indeed a necessity as it ended Sporting's eight-game winless run in a season in which they have been knocked out of both domestic cups and trail Liga leaders SL Benfica by 20 points. But a chance of the Lions' first European trophy since the 1963/64 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup remains a distant prospect for now at least. "Just as before this win we weren't the worst team, now we are not the best," the 29-year-old centre-back said. "We are going to stay humble, but good things are going to come from now on."

    While Everton had a second unhappy trip home from Lisbon following their 5-0 loss at Benfica in October, there was one consolation in the return of defender Phil Jagielka from an anterior cruciate ligament injury which had ruled him out since last April. The 27-year-old, who replaced Philippe Senderos after 52 minutes, said: "I was expecting a quiet night to be honest. Fortunately, or unfortunately, I had a chance as Philippe had to go off because of a knock. It's nice to be back. I've waited a long time. I'm an all-smiling boy in spite of the defeat. I am obviously happy that I have completed 38 minutes pretty much pain-free."

    Jagielka added: "It was a bit disappointing with the three goals we've conceded. Luck was not on our side. We played brilliantly in the first leg and maybe the late goal we conceded gave them something to play for. If we had arrived here 2-0 up, it was a completely different game. It was all about the first goal and, once they got it, they never looked back."



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