Europe: Europa League
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F. Wirtz (28), R. Andrich (73)
By Ultan Corcoran@UltanCorcoran

Granit Xhaka: "We deserved to win tonight"

Leverkusen's Swiss midfielder spoke to UEFA this evening after the German champions secured a 2-0 semi-final first-leg win over AS Roma in the Europa League.

Granit Xhaka expressed his happiness with Bayer Leverkusen's commanding victory over AS Roma in the Italian capital this evening.

"We knew before the game how difficult it is to play here [in the Stadio Olympico]. But I think in my opinion we deserved to win tonight. We had many more chances, more clear chances," he said.

However, the Swiss international left a lasting reminder that the tie is far from over, with the second-leg to come at the BayArena next Thursday.

"I think we needed to score two or three more. To win here in Rome is very good, but [the tie] is not over. We have a second game in Leverkusen and we know the quality of the opposition. We know the mentality that they [Roma] have, but we need to give the same effort that we put in tonight," the 31-year-old added.

Arriving last summer from Arsenal for a reported €25 million euro fee, Xhaka has been lauded for his leadership skills and work ethic in the heart of the Werkself engine room. Leverkusen's midfield general spoke of the secrets behind their success.

"The secret is hard work. The belief, the mentality, and the quality for sure. We've had a very good season, we've won the championship in Germany, we are in the final in the [DfB Pokal] cup, and the semi-final of the Europa League so everything is going well.

"We are 47 games unbeaten and it's unbelievable numbers, but with numbers you can't win [trophies]. So we will keep going and working day by day, and keep believing and hopefully we can do it," he concluded.

Bayer Leverkusen will travel to Eintracht Frankfurt on Sunday before hosting AS Roma at the BayArena in the semi-final second-leg on Thursday 9th May at 9pm [CET].

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