Victor Obinna said a half-time dressing down from coach José Couceiro was the catalyst for FC Lokomotiv Moskva's improved post-interval performance after they beat AEK Athens FC 3-1 in Moscow to take second place in UEFA Europa League Group L. The Nigerian international could take some credit himself, having made an instant impact as a substitute by laying on Dmitri Sychev's opener for the Railway Men.
Victor Obinna, Lokomotiv midfielder
The coach was upset with the way we played in the first half as he knows what we can do when we put our minds to it. He was furious with the first 45 minutes, but he spoke to us and told us to play at a higher tempo, to only take two touches and make sure we played to our potential.
We had a completely different approach going into the second half, and to be able to provide the goal less than five minutes after the resumption and get in front was nice. I am delighted I was able to make such an impact.
Vladislav Ignatyev, Lokomotiv midfielder
It was important we managed to score so quickly after half-time and that swung the game in our favour; we really needed all three points today. AEK had a good chance at the start of the game and had they taken that opportunity the outcome could have been completely different. Unfortunately we always seem to be half asleep in the first half and only start to wake up after the break. On the other hand, it shows we are a very fit side and can stay competitive for 90 minutes.
Cala, AEK defender
In the first half it took us a long time to get used to the pitch, but I thought we were playing well going into the break. We created a host of chances which we should have taken, while Lokomotiv hardly had a shot on goal. After we went a goal down we had opportunities to equalise but when Sychev scored from the penalty spot that was a tough blow for us. All in all I think we were a bit unlucky and deserved something from the game.
Lokomotiv are a very mobile, fluid side, and Sychev was in excellent form. He managed to take all the chances that were presented to him and this was what we were lacking.
If we had a striker like Sychev today, then I am sure the result would have been different.
Nathan Burns, AEK midfielder
It was a very even first half and overall it was a difficult game. We tried to hold on, but they came out rejuvenated in the second half and put a lot more pressure on us; eventually they got the result they wanted. Lokomotiv are a good team and they are probably expected to win, but it is disappointing that we played so well in the first half and couldn't continue that in the second half.
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