Joaquin: Malaga will improve in Champions League

The Spanish winger believes his side can bounce back for the second leg against Porto in the Champions League after a below-par display in the first leg

Malaga midfielder Joaquin has said his side can still make it into the Champions League quarter-finals despite a 1-0 loss to Porto in the first leg of their last 16 tie.

A second-half goal from João Moutinho was enough to see off Manuel Pellegrini’s men, but Joaquin believes his side will improve.

“We didn’t see the Malaga we’re used to seeing on the pitch,” he told reporters.

“They were very strong, aggressive and maintained a tight defence, which made it difficult for us to keep hold of the ball.

“However, despite the fact they dominated possession, they didn’t create very many opportunities to score, and only got the one goal, which was actually offside.

“We’re all so grateful that the fans accompanied us to Portugal, and their support was invaluable. It was just a shame we couldn’t come back with a win for them.”

Los Boquerones currently lie fourth in La liga, with a fixture away from home against Real Betis on Sunday, which the 31-year-old is now focusing on.

“We can’t undermine the importance of the league as it’s the key to every other competition. It’s a long road, but we’re performing well in league games.

“Betis have had a great season so far, and will be fighting for the top spots until the end of the year as they’re very competitive and play great football."