Sporting's story against English opponents at the events organized by UEFA is not famous, let alone the examination of the matches played on British territory. Two victories, two draws and seven defeats are the record that has been accumulated by the "lions", but it was the first Portuguese team to win in England: in October 1981, in the second round of the UEFA Cup, the Alvalade emblem was imposed on the ground of Southampton (2-4). Two of the "leonine" goals in this historic triumph were marketed by Manuel Fernándes, Sporting's current coach's father – who was then two months old.
While the administration of Sporting does not officially announce the name of the new coach, Tiago Fernandes is temporarily in the leadership of the group he inherited from José Peseiro. After the winner opener against Santa Clara, the "lions" face Arsenal on the fourth day of the Europa League Group E (20h, SIC). And Tiago Fernandes, who will make his debut at a European competition, will ensure that the team will go to London to win and honor the spirit of 1981. "It is a game of the Europa League with great players. and the quality of Arsenal, but we are athletic, and we will try to neutralize the quality of our opponent, "he said in the preview of the match.
Tomorrow [hoje] the secret is to play for Sporting, with enormous ambition and great desire to win. In terms of tactics we need to consider what the opponent does. We have to be prepared. If we make a mistake, they will enjoy it more often because they are of great quality. We can not make them enjoy it. In terms of tactics, we must be very organized and coherent, as we have in the Azores, "added Tiago Fernandes
It will get the best version of Sporting to earn points in London. The "shooters"They have lost 14 games in all games (the last defeat returns in August) and, playing at home, the Unai Emery team has a near-perfect record: seven wins, one draw and one loss. Emirates without losing was Manchester City and Liverpool Nothing that frightens the technical "leonino." "Arsenal is an excellent team, but we have a huge hope to make the points tomorrow [hoje], for this purpose we will come. We want to play for the first place in the team. Let's start playing to win, with ambition, nail and attitude, "he said.
At a press conference where he repeatedly wondered about Marcel Keizer, who has shown Jose Peseiro's most likely successor in the lions' training, Tiago Fernandes reiterated that he is available to help Sporting without stretching. "I have had a lot of help from our players, they have trained in a fantastic way, I am in front of a team of high-quality and professional players, I will continue to Sporting and will be available to help the club understand. to comment, the administration knows what is best for the club, "he concluded.
The uncertainty in the technical leadership of the "lions" did not go unnoticed in London, but the Arsenal manager underestimated the issue by highlighting the importance of the struggle to define the Europa League Group E ranking. "The athletes have a lot of good players, they're kicking the bus, but this is a very important game to get to the top of the team," said Spaniard Unai Emery, who succeeded him Arsène Wenger in charge of the "shooters".
The Londoners have a lot of time and they can seal the way for Europa League Round 32 with victory tonight. "Obviously the main goal is to finish at the top of the table and it will be a great game because we can guarantee leadership." It will be a good test for us in a competition we consider to be important not only because we are titles but also to be a way to enter the Champions League next season, "said Emery.