At the Ramón Sánchez-Pizjuán Stadium, West Ham United showed its might.
Thousands of travelling supporters in attendance gave it their all, singing loud and proud all evening long. Likewise, manager, players and staff left nothing out on the pitch.
A 1-0 defeat away to a high-quality team like Sevilla, who have lost just twice competing for the La Liga title this season, is little to be ashamed of, particularly when the Irons carved out enough clear chances to have earned, on another night, a different result themselves.
Far from it. With a second leg to come, and the full might of the Claret & Blue Army still to come, Declan Rice – no stranger to the biggest occasions – feels his side can approach next Thursday’s home leg with no shortage of positivity.
First of all, it was a special night.
Everyone was buzzing – the lads, the manager – and you could feel it from the fans. It was a special night in that sense.
Obviously, there was disappointment to not get something from the game, but the beauty of a knockout competition is that we've got one leg now to make it right.
We’ll be going back to our stadium and giving it everything.
We created clear-cut chances.
Niki’s [Vlašić’s] one, we probably should have scored from that. Manu [Lanzini] had a great one as well, which we probably should have scored from.
There are positives to take. Obviously, we’re missing big players as well like Jarrod [Bowen]… hopefully he can come back into the team next week and make a massive difference for us, and we’ll be ready to go at our Stadium.
Sevilla are a good side. You could see their experience.
The way they play, solid, a good team. These nights, this is what we want to be a part of. The buzz I had in my stomach before the game, especially playing for this Club as well in a competition like this…
I know how much it means to the fans and especially to me, Nobes [Mark Noble], the manager, the lads… it was a real honour to captain West Ham tonight and to give it everything for this Club.
The atmosphere was special.
You always want to feed off the crowd. We tried to do that at times. Obviously, it’s hard to sustain it for 90 minutes.
Their fans were top and it was a great experience for all the lads to come out here, and to keep it at 1-0, it probably could have even been a better result for us.
The West Ham fans deserve it. They’ve been waiting their lifetimes to see us in Europe.
A massive shout-out to them, spending their hard-earned money coming to watch us – a big thank you to them. Without them, we probably wouldn’t be here.
With the players we’ve got, and the way we’ve played the last couple of games, we’re positive.
We know our Stadium’s going to be rocking. We can beat anyone on our day and we’ll be ready to go and hopefully knock Sevilla out, and progress to the next round.