Fulham manager Roy Hodgson admitted his side had suffered a “bitter blow” after Diego Forlan’s extra-time goal gave Atletico Madrid a 2-1 win in the Europa League final.
This was the second time Hodgson had tasted defeat in a European final, having been on the losing side when Inter Milan lost the 1997 UEFA Cup final.
Forlan broke Fulham’s hearts with two goals in the final, opening the scoring in the first half and then slipping his marker in the 116th minute to slide his shot past Mark Schwarzer and send the title to Madrid.
“The player are obviously very disappointed, but we put in a valiant performance,” said Hodgson. “It was a bitter blow to concede such a late goal. I thought the game was heading to penalties, we were looking good despite the tiredness and holding our shape,” he said.
“But I have told them they can be proud of what they have achieved this season, even if that is scant consolation right now.
“I would never have imagined that we would be here at the final, but that doesn’t help ease the tremendous disappointment we are feeling,” the manager said.