Manchester City star Raheem Sterling revealed he voted for Tottenham striker Harry Kane to receive the PFA Player of the Year award, not Liverpool's Virgil van Dijk.

Sterling and Liverpool defender Van Dijk are the frontrunners for the award ahead of the PFA ceremony in London on Sunday.

Van Dijk said he voted for Sterling – who has scored 17 Premier League goals and tallied nine assists for reigning champions City this season.

However, Sterling did not return the favour, instead opting for England team-mate Kane, who did not make the six-man shortlist.

"It's nice to be recognised on that front but, to be honest, if we don't win the Premier League, I don't really want to be in contention," said Sterling.

"What I want to do is win the Premier League, win the FA Cup, then think about stuff like that, even though the awards are before that. Without that, it doesn't mean much to me, really.

"I voted for Harry Kane. My vote for him is because he scores so many goals every year, he does so much for the team, gives so much for his team.

"There was a lot of talk about Virgil van Dijk. I knew he would have a lot of the votes, so I looked at someone I thought being around him in the national team, how he puts in his work, his work ethic, how he looks after himself.

"He's always there, especially coming back from injury, as a professional I looked at him and that's my reason for voting for him, seeing him on a day-to-day with the national team."

Sterling's City team-mates Sergio Aguero and Bernardo Silva are also in the running for the award, as well as Liverpool forward Sadio Mane and Chelsea star Eden Hazard.

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino has not given up hope of Christian Eriksen extending his contract despite the midfielder having only 14 months left on his deal.

Eriksen joined Spurs from Ajax in 2013 and has been a regular ever since, becoming one of the Premier League's best playmakers.

He was decisive on Tuesday, scoring a fine late winner as Spurs took charge in the top-four battle with a 1-0 victory over Brighton and Hove Albion.

Spurs and Eriksen have long been in negotiations but do not appear to be getting any closer to an agreement, with some suggesting they could look to offload him at the end of the season to prevent losing him on a free transfer next year.

When asked if he had any updates on the talks, Pochettino told reporters: "I think I was clear a few months ago.

"It is a very special situation. Christian is a special person. I think we are all special, different and we need to understand that.

"The timing for him or for the club to be agreeing something are maybe different to another player. I hope and I wish Christian can be with us in the future, but I think Christian and us, we are so open to talking and we will see what happens.

"I think it is so close to the end of the season, [there is] a lot of time to talk after and I think the most important thing now, not only for him, is for all the players to be focused and try to achieve the things we want.

"We have a lot of big things ahead and we need to be focused only to try and recover, train and compete."

Eriksen has impressed lately and his winner against Brighton capped a strong all-round performance, with Pochettino paying tribute to his technical ability.

"He has an amazing quality," Pochettino added. "He can shoot from outside of the box and have unbelievable shots with his left and right foot.

"Of course, it's about mentality too, but in the end if you don't have the quality then you can shoot 10 times without the goalkeeper and for sure you're not going to score, but with Christian he can shoot and score."

Brighton were agonisingly close to what could have been a pivotal point in their fight against relegation and Chris Hughton accepted it was painful to slip to such a late loss.

"That's very much the feeling," Hughton told reporters when asked if it was a heartbreaking defeat. "We had a little bit of fortune go our away, they hit the post, we defended well.

"The longer it went I thought we would hold out if we had managed the game better at the end. I thought the centre-halves were both excellent.

"It's a pressurised situation but we have put ourselves in it and we have to deal with it. We have an opportunity now at home against Newcastle [United on Saturday]."

Christian Eriksen's stunning late strike secured Tottenham a crucial 1-0 win over Brighton and Hove Albion to give Spurs complete control in the top-four race.

Spurs appeared to be heading for an underwhelming draw that would have seen Brighton edge closer to securing their Premier League safety, but Eriksen struck two minutes from time to cruelly deny Chris Hughton's hard-working side.

After a quiet opening, the first half grew into a lively encounter, with Spurs going closest just before the interval when Dele Alli had an effort blocked on the line.

Spurs stepped things up a notch in the second half bit looked to have run out of ideas after Toby Alderweireld hit the post, but Eriksen continued plugging away and eventually found the net late on, taking Mauricio Pochettino's men four points clear of fifth-placed Arsenal.

Raheem Sterling believes football chiefs are doing "nowhere near enough" to tackle racism and has called for radical changes.

Manchester City forward Sterling has been a victim of alleged racist abuse several times this season, while in action for his club and on international duty with England.

The 24-year-old has received plaudits for his stand against racism, while players and football clubs boycotted social media for a 24-hour period to protest online abuse on Friday.

Sterling's England team-mate Danny Rose has been another high-profile recipient of abuse, with the Tottenham defender saying he is looking forward to retirement due to the authorities' failure to act. 

In Italy, Juventus youngster Moise Kean was subject to alleged racist chanting in a Serie A match against Cagliari.

And writing in The Times, who have released a manifesto calling for changes to be made throughout football in order to fight racism, Sterling insists the current efforts to eradicate the issue are not up to scratch.

"When I was a boy growing up in London, I didn't know what racist abuse was because I never suffered any," Sterling wrote.

"So it seems crazy that, in 2019, I feel the need to write a piece in a newspaper calling for radical changes to the game that I love. But I do because the racism problem in football is so bad, runs so deep and is nowhere near being sorted.

"You will all have read about the various high-profile racist incidents in recent months: the abuse I received playing for Manchester City away to Chelsea; the booing that the black England players were subjected to in Montenegro; the nastiness that Moise Kean of Juventus endured in Italy and the endless insults thrown at players on social media.

"But that is sadly just the tip of the iceberg. Up and down the game, across the world, black and Asian players, fans and coaches are subjected to racism. Every day, from park football to the Champions League.

"In my opinion, the people who run the game are doing nowhere near enough to solve the problem. And that's not good enough."

Discussing the manifesto, Sterling put forward his ideas, adding: "I'd call for an automatic nine-point deduction for racist abuse.

"It sounds harsh but which fan will risk racist behaviour if it might relegate their team or ruin their title bid?

"The club should have to play three games behind closed doors. That way, they lose revenue as a direct consequence of racist behaviour.

"I don't know how long it'll take for things to change but we have to start now. I don't want the next generation of black players to have to put up with this evil."

Moussa Sissoko could miss the first leg of Tottenham's Champions League semi-final against Ajax according to Mauricio Pochettino, who said the midfielder could be out "for the next two weeks".

Spurs lost 1-0 to Manchester City three days after Sissoko picked up a groin injury in the second leg of their stunning Champions League quarter-final victory over Pep Guardiola's men and Pochettino said that he was not optimistic about the Frenchman's chances of a quick recovery.

Home games against Brighton and Hove Albion, and West Ham in the Premier League will give Spurs the chance to continue their push for third place in the Premier League ahead of the visit of Ajax, but Pochettino said he is not expecting Sissoko or fellow midfielder Harry Winks to feature.

Winks has been struggling with a similar problem to Sissoko but managed 81 minutes on Wednesday before sitting out Saturday's defeat at the Etihad Stadium.

"Moussa Sissoko is not going to be fit, maybe for the next two weeks," said Pochettino.

"We hope he can recover before but I am not so optimistic.

"Harry Winks we don't know because it is a problem that is one day very good, next day not very good, it is about assessing each day.

"We hope he will be available for Tuesday [against Brighton] but we are not sure."

Defeat at City on Saturday left Spurs just one point clear of fourth-placed Arsenal – who were then stunned 3-2 by Crystal Palace on Sunday – and Pochettino said the prospect of the Champions League semi-final would not distract his players from ending their domestic campaign on a high.

He said the opportunity to play three successive matches at the new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium would give Spurs a lift, saying: "We hope we can keep going, getting the same result. It is going to be fantastic and it is going to be helpful for us playing in the new stadium with our fans and we hope and wish to repeat the performances of the previous results.

"We are not thinking of Ajax. We showed today that we are thinking in that today and that competition, the Premier League.

"Now our energy is on Brighton. It is so clear that we have two objectives – one is to be in the top four at the end of the season and the other is to beat Ajax, but we need to go step-by-step."

Deli Alli believes Tottenham's dream run to the Champions League semi-finals is down to the success so many of their stars enjoyed at last year's World Cup.

Spurs had nine players reach the semi-finals at Russia 2018, though Mousa Dembele has now departed for the lucrative Chinese Super League.

Domestically a Premier League title challenge ended with damaging defeats to Burnley and Chelsea in February, while they were knocked out of the EFL Cup and FA Cup in the space of four days in January.

But Europe's greatest prize remains a distinct possibility after Spurs upset Manchester City over two legs to book a semi-final date with Ajax.

And England star Alli, part of the Three Lions team beaten by Croatia in the last four at the World Cup, believes their continental success has roots in Russia.

"I think it's definitely the case that what happened at the World Cup has helped us as a team," he said.

"We got a lot of experience from the tournament, in different situations, winning and losing. With that experience, we have begun to show that we are learning and that's what has happened in the Champions League.

"Each season we are improving, in both the Premier League and the Champions League. We are heading in the right direction and we have got to keep doing that.

"When I first came to Spurs, we had a great team, great players but maybe we didn't have the experience we needed when we got to this point of the season. But, by sticking together and having tasted various experiences, we are just getting better and better."

It has been 11 years since Spurs last won a trophy, while City's revenge 1-0 win at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday left their top-four hopes in the league this season in danger.

And Alli is under no illusions that Tottenham have to turn potential into success.

"Of course, we want to challenge for trophies. We've had seasons where we have come so close and we should have probably been closer in the Premier League again this season," he added. 

"There were a few poor games at crucial points of the season, but it's switched around again.

"We still have to make sure we finish in the top four again, which we should have made much more comfortable than we have.

"We will have to manage the games coming up, there has to be a strategy. But we are in the semi-finals now, so there is no reason why we can't believe." 

Maurizio Sarri suggested reaching the EFL Cup final with Chelsea this season was just as difficult as Tottenham's run to the Champions League semi-finals.

The Blues beat Liverpool in round three and Tottenham over two legs in the last four of the domestic competition, as well as overcoming Derby County and Bournemouth in-between, before losing on penalties to Manchester City in February's final.

Chelsea are now left battling for fourth place in the Premier League and are through to the semi-finals of the Europa League, courtesy of a 5-3 aggregate win over Slavia Prague, leaving two paths open for next season's Champions League.

Sarri insists qualifying for UEFA's elite club tournament is not the be all and end all for his side, though, and he believes going all the way in continental competition is perhaps not as tough as it is made out, with luck playing a big part.

"I know very well [the] Premier League is very difficult," Sarri said. "For getting in the final of the League Cup, too, we had to play against Liverpool, against Tottenham, the final against Manchester City. It was easier to get to the final of the Champions League, I think."

Tottenham, by comparison, knocked out Borussia Dortmund and Man City to keep their European hopes alive.

"I think many give the Champions League too much importance," Sarri added. "Of course, it is the most important competition for clubs, but it is a competition with straight elimination, so sometimes you need a post in or a post out to qualify or to be eliminated.

"So we need to play very well but you need to be lucky in that competition. I can understand if you stay in the Champions League is another world probably. 

"I have played two times in Champions League and it's clear it's the most important competition for clubs in Europe and as a consequence in the world I think, but it’s a competition in which you need to be lucky."

Chelsea will take on Eintracht Frankfurt over two legs for a place in the final of the Europa League, but before then they face Burnley and Manchester United in the Premier League.

Sarri is not prioritising one competition over the other as the finish line draws into sight.

"At the moment we cannot choose," he said. "We have to try in the Premier League. We have to try in the Europa league. But we want to win the Europa League because it is a very important competition, not because of going in the Champions League. So we have to try to get top four. It's not easy for us because we only play four matches, but we have to try.

"The last four or five matches will be difficult for every team involved in fighting for the top four, not only for us. So we can see some very strange results in the last part of the season. We are going to fight and see at the end."

Sarri, who has come under intense pressure at times in his maiden campaign in English football, expects to have Eden Hazard fit for Monday's clash with Burnley after the Belgian forward left the field early against Slavia Prague as a precaution.

"I spoke to him at half-time and he had a big knock in the leg," Sarri said. "He told me I will try but I'm not sure I will finish the match, so I prefer to change him because we have to play another very important match in three or four days. I think it was better [to take him off].

"I think he will be fit. I have to speak with the doctor, so I am not sure, but my feeling is it is nothing serious."

Mauricio Pochettino insists Premier League officials have his trust despite Tottenham appearing to be denied a clear penalty in Saturday's 1-0 defeat at Manchester City.

Phil Foden's early goal proved decisive, as Pep Guardiola's men secured a measure of revenge for their Champions League exit at the hands of Spurs on Wednesday.

Although Spurs suffered a defeat, Pochettino was delighted with his team's performance, as they looked the more threatening side for much of the game.

They were particularly unlucky to not be given the opportunity to level from the spot in the second half when Kyle Walker appeared to block a Dele Alli flick with his arm.

Referee Michael Oliver failed to point to the spot despite being in a decent position to see it, but Pochettino refused to point the finger at the officials.

"Nothing to say," Pochettino said in his post-match news conference. "Always it is about the interpretation of the referee.

"Nothing to say, nothing to complain about, that is football – sometimes it is for you. We trust in the referees and the decisions better than any system.

"Always I am going to back the decisions of the referees."

Despite defeat, Tottenham's top-four hopes remain in their own hands and the run-in looks kind.

Three of their final four games of the season are at home, with the solitary away match coming against a Bournemouth side struggling for form, and Pochettino is fairly relaxed about the situation.

"It is in our hands to be in the top four to be in the Champions League next season," Pochettino said.

"We are going to have now the next two games, they are going to be decisive, against Brighton [and Hove Albion] and West Ham.

"It is going to be tough now, because Tuesday we have another tough game now and then Saturday and then the Champions League semi-final against Ajax.

"I feel very proud. The performance was very good. At least we deserved a draw. The man of the match was the [City] goalkeeper, Ederson.

"We competed really well. We need to keep that feeling and try to translate Tuesday."

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola paid tribute to Phil Foden after his match-winning performance against Tottenham on Saturday and used the opportunity to hit back at those who criticised his use of Fabian Delph in the Champions League.

City held on to a nervy 1-0 victory at the Etihad Stadium, with Foden's goal – his first in the Premier League – coming after just five minutes.

Foden was making only his second top-flight start but looked at home as City claimed a measure of revenge for their European exit at the hands of Spurs, who progressed on away goals despite losing the quarter-final second leg 4-3 in midweek.

Spurs won the first leg 1-0 and Delph came in for significant criticism for his performance, as did Guardiola by extension, prompting a prickly response when asked about Foden following Saturday's win.

"Now I am a genius. He [Foden] scored a goal, how good is the manager? Then, after playing Delph in London, it is a disaster," Guardiola told reporters.

"Phil is an incredibly talented player and we have to pick him in the right moment. He has the quality to arrive in the box.

"Every time he plays he scores a goal or has chances. His ability in small spaces, it is not easy to play against [Eric] Dier or [Victor] Wanyama or [Christian] Eriksen.

"It is an incredible experience for him to play and I trust him a lot."

Kevin De Bruyne suffered an injury in the first half and was subsequently forced off, making him a doubt for the remainder of the season, while the Belgian will almost certainly miss Wednesday's trip to Old Trafford.

That could provide Foden with the opportunity to make his first start in a Manchester derby.

"Maybe," Guardiola said when asked if Foden could feature against Manchester United.

"Maybe Kevin is not there, so we will see. I didn't spend one second to think about the match at Old Trafford.

"I need to enjoy today and rest a bit and then watch as many games as possible from United."

Bernardo Silva admitted nerves played a part for Manchester City in their narrow 1-0 win over Tottenham that took them back to the top of the Premier League.

City returned to the summit thanks to a tense victory over Spurs at the Etihad Stadium, three days on from their action-packed Champions League tie against the same opponents.

The sides shared seven goals in midweek as Tottenham progressed through to the semi-finals on away goals, despite a 4-3 loss in the second leg, but one goal was enough to settle this third encounter in the space of 10 days.

Phil Foden scored his first Premier League goal with five minutes on the clock, netting what proved the winner as the defending champions held on for three vital points, surviving a penalty scare in the process to move one point clear of Liverpool having played the same number of matches as their title rivals.

Silva conceded the tight nature of the title race is affecting City, but expressed satisfaction at quickly bouncing back from Wednesday's loss.

"We knew after the game three days ago we had to give a response," he told Sky Sports. "We wanted to keep the race for the Premier League title alive. 

"I think it was a great game, very difficult. It was a great win, three points, and now onto the next one - Manchester United. There are four games to go and we need four wins.

"We were nervous because we are fighting for the Premier League. There is always pressure in these games. 

"We felt the atmosphere - the fans were great today, as they were three days ago. We have to thank them because without them it is impossible to fight for these things."

Silva was named man of the match, but the Portuguese midfielder handed the award over to Foden.

The academy product is targeting more goals after netting on just his second Premier League start, nodding in after Sergio Aguero headed a Silva delivery back across the face of goal. 

"Aguero did great to nod it back to me and I was there to head it in," Foden said. "I just want to take my opportunity and help the lads. 

"I try to get in the box as much as I can because that's where you score goals. Being an attacking midfielder I've got to get in the box and today it paid off.

"Every player I play with I look up to - especially this guy [Bernardo]. He didn't stop running."

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola suggested Kevin De Bruyne could miss the rest of the season after suffering an injury in Saturday's 1-0 win over Tottenham.

De Bruyne's campaign has been ravaged by injuries, with successive knee ligament problems forcing him to miss most of the first half of the season.

The Belgian was also absent for the majority of March due to a thigh issue, before hitting a strong run of form upon his return, particularly standing out with three assists in Wednesday's 4-3 Champions League win over Spurs – though that was not enough to send City into the semi-finals.

De Bruyne was bright again in the first half on Saturday, but he appeared to strain something around his left knee while taking a shot just before the break, and Guardiola suspects he could be forced to sit out the rest of 2018-19, including May's FA Cup final showdown with Watford.

When asked about the severity of De Bruyne's injury, Guardiola said: "I don't know, but if he went out it's because of something muscular.

"It's normal after injuries and after these last three or four games playing a lot of minutes without preparation, because when they come back from injuries and train properly to be ready to take a game every three days and that's what happens.

"It's a pity, because now we arrive in the best moment of the season and we are going to miss him for these four days and maybe the FA Cup, but we'll see tomorrow [Sunday]."

Phil Foden scored his first Premier League goal as Manchester City beat Tottenham 1-0 at the Etihad Stadium to bounce back from Champions League heartbreak and move a step closer to retaining their domestic crown.

Spurs ended City's European adventure on Wednesday despite losing 4-3 in a controversial and thrilling encounter at the Etihad, but they were unable to dent the champions' title defence as Pep Guardiola's men clinched a measure of revenge.

An entertaining first period saw just the one goal despite several opportunities at both ends, with Foden – making only his second top-flight start – opening his Premier League account in the fifth minute, though City did lose Kevin De Bruyne to injury.

Spurs were aggrieved to not be awarded a second-half penalty and that ultimately proved crucial as City held on to the slender victory, taking them back above Liverpool to the Premier League's summit ahead of Wednesday's trip to Manchester United.

Although Spurs started by going close through Son Heung-min, City took an early lead as they did in midweek, Foden nodding in after Sergio Aguero headed a Bernardo Silva delivery back across goal.

Spurs responded well as Christian Eriksen tested Ederson and Aymeric Laporte had to make a last-ditch tackle to deny Son, but City looked purposeful in attack and should have won a penalty when Jan Vertonghen sent Silva tumbling in the 20th minute.

City continued to grow as the first half progressed, though they lost De Bruyne to what appeared to be a knee injury just before the break, handing Spurs a boost.

Proceedings were tighter after the interval, though City could count themselves lucky to not concede a spot-kick – Kyle Walker seemingly handling the ball in the box after a Dele Alli flick.

Raheem Sterling should have wrapped things up with 19 minutes to go when directing Leroy Sane's cross goalwards, but Paulo Gazzaniga somehow kept it out with his right foot.

That ushered in an anxious end for City, with Ederson forced to thwart Lucas Moura, but the hosts dug deep to secure a crucial victory.

 

What does it mean? One final major obstacle remains

Most people identified two matches in City's run-in that could see them slip-up; Tottenham at home and away to United. They are now past the first hurdle relatively unscathed. It is seemingly only bitter rivals United that stand between City and a second successive Premier League triumph.

Silva shines bright

The best player on the pitch, by some distance. Silva constantly caused Ben Davies problems on the right flank, while his darting runs inside helped open up gaps in the Spurs defence, as was the case for Foden's goal. A fine display.

Gazzaniga unconvincing

While there was not much he could have done about the goal, Gazzaniga's general involvements were otherwise unimpressive, as he tried to over-complicate play and never looked in command in the penalty area.

What's next?

Things do not get much easier for City as they face the short trip to Old Trafford on Wednesday. Spurs host Brighton and Hove Albion the day before.

Kevin De Bruyne could be a doubt for the remainder of Manchester City's Premier League run-in after appearing to suffer another knee injury against Tottenham on Saturday.

The Belgium international has been dogged by injuries this season, missing most of the first half of the campaign with successive knee ligament problems.

He was also absent for the majority of March with a thigh issue.

De Bruyne had been in strong form since his return in the 2-0 win over Fulham on March 30, particularly standing out on Wednesday against Tottenham in the Champions League quarter-final second leg, providing three assists as City won 4-3 but went out on away goals.

But against Spurs in the Premier League three days later, he appeared to strain his left knee once again while taking a shot just before half-time.

Although he managed to walk off the pitch unaided, City swiftly opted to replace him with Fernandinho.

City next face Manchester United in Wednesday's derby – a match that could be vital in City's Premier League title defence, with Liverpool starting the weekend with a one-point lead at the top of the table.

Pep Guardiola's side then face Burnley, Leicester City and Brighton and Hove Albion in their last three league games of the season, before an FA Cup final against Watford on May 18.

Phil Foden is set for only his second Premier League start as Manchester City welcome Tottenham in a potentially crucial game in the title race, while Spurs have rung the changes from Wednesday's dramatic Champions League clash between the two teams.

City claimed a 4-3 win at the Etihad Stadium during the week, though that score only told half of the story, as Mauricio Pochettino's men progressed to the Champions League semi-finals on away goals thanks to two VAR calls falling in their favour in the final 17 minutes.

With Pep Guardiola's men still very much in the hunt for the league title, he has opted to keep his team much the same, though John Stones, Foden and Oleksandr Zinchenko – who has been out injured in recent weeks – come into the side.

The talented Foden will be appearing as a starter in the Premier League for only the second time, his first in a 2-0 win at home to Cardiff City earlier this month.

Pochettino has made five alterations to his team, however, with most of them coming at the back.

Paulo Gazzaniga replaces Hugo Lloris in goal, while Davinson Sanchez, Ben Davies and Juan Foyth come into a back five.

Their other change sees Eric Dier return in midfield, with Fernando Llorente – the scorer of Spurs' crucial third goal on Wednesday – left on the bench as Lucas Moura and Son Heung-min lead the line.

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola says VAR is "f****** boring to talk about".

Guardiola, who has long been one of the game's major champions of VAR, saw City exit the Champions League in extraordinary circumstances against Tottenham this week with the technology twice having a huge impact.

Although City beat Spurs 4-3 in the second leg at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday, their 1-0 reverse in the first encounter in London saw Mauricio Pochettino's side progress on away goals.

The decisive goal was scored by Spurs striker Fernando Llorente, VAR ruling it should stand despite replays indicating the ball brushed his arm before bouncing into City's net off his hip.

And further VAR drama stunned the stadium in added time when Raheem Sterling's celebrations were cut short after he seemed to have wrapped up a hat-trick to deliver a semi-final spot.

VAR reviewed the strike and replays showed Sergio Aguero was marginally offside in the build-up, which stemmed from a loose Christian Eriksen pass towards his own goal.

Spurs return to Manchester for a crunch clash on Saturday with City looking to refocus on a gripping title race with Liverpool - and Guardiola is keen to move on from the debate over VAR, which is coming to the Premier League next season.

"We play for a lot, put a lot of effort in those situations, but we accept it," Guardiola told a news conference on Friday. "Sometimes the referee's wrong decision goes in our favour, in this case it was against us. Accept it, it’s football, it’s life.

"Especially for the game tomorrow, if we think about what could happen differently, I don’t know. For one inch we are out, for one handball we are out. Or maybe not, maybe after 10 minutes Tottenham attack and score three goals in five minutes.

"Maybe [that] happens, or maybe not, I don't know. I think to focus on this one action is ridiculous, because the game was so nice, the football was so nice, so open.

"VAR is f****** boring to talk about. Sometimes it helps you, sometimes not. UEFA created it to help the referees. What can I do?

"Try to concede less goals in these stages. Try to be more solid defensively, even though we are so solid throughout the season, even at top sides. At Chelsea, at Liverpool, in all the games we were so solid.

"It’s the competition, the knockout, the way we played for the minutes, and my feeling - maybe it will not be good for next season - that at every stage we are still better, we are still creating a lot of chances.

"No team created that many chances in Europe like we are able to create in many games. That’s why I like to see the way my team play, but unfortunately we are not in the next stage."

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