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David Luiz’s bittersweet reaction: “It always hurts to knock out Benfica”

Arsenal FC v SL Benfica - UEFA Europa League Round Of 32 Leg Two
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Arsenal’s defender David Luiz was happy to win but confessed it was a bittersweet moment due to the love he has for Benfica.

The Gunners managed to get past Benfica after a very difficult game in Athens this Thursday. Therefore, Arsenal are through to the next round of the Europa League and will wait to find out who their next opponents will be.

David Luiz spoke to Portuguese television about this Wednesday’s clash and what almost went wrong for the Londoners.

“We were expecting a very difficult game against a team with a great manager and a lot of quality,” said Luiz. “That’s what happened, a high-level game, with two teams that wanted to win but we had more goal opportunities. Benfica’s goals came from our own mistakes, but we maintained a clear head and enough maturity on the pitch to go through to the next round.”

Although their veteran defender David Luiz was pleased with their important win, the Brazilian was also sad for Benfica’s loss. Luiz spent five seasons in Lisbon and played under the Eagles’ current coach Jorge Jesus. Naturally, the 33-year-old still holds some fond memories from his days in Portugal.

“If it hurts to knock out Benfica? It always hurts… Benfica is a club that had us used to them fighting in all competitions. Unfortunately, this year they’re not in their best moment but I believe in the club, the manager and the fans. It’s a special club for which I have a lot of love.”