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'Amazing' Abbiati wins coaches' praise

Published: Wednesday 3 October 2012, 20.45CET
The coaches of AC Milan and FC Zenit St Petersburg united in praising visiting goalkeeper Christian Abbiati, who helped earned what Massimiliano Allegri called "a nice victory".
Published: Wednesday 3 October 2012, 20.45CET

'Amazing' Abbiati wins coaches' praise

The coaches of AC Milan and FC Zenit St Petersburg united in praising visiting goalkeeper Christian Abbiati, who helped earned what Massimiliano Allegri called "a nice victory".

Massimiliano Allegri, Milan coach
It was a very nice victory for us but I think this group will only be decided on the last matchday. We started the game extremely well but then Zenit changed things tactically and that did not allow us to keep playing as we had been doing in the early stages.

However, I congratulate my players especially because it is always very difficult when you concede a goal just before the interval. Zenit scored another early in the second half but we continued to play for the victory, trying to score a third. We focused only on defending in the final stages when we were very tired and were no longer disciplined tactically on the pitch. Fortunately it went well.

[Christian] Abbiati made some great saves, particularly in the first half but also in the second. He is a great goalkeeper, he made some mistakes early in the season but that's normal. Everybody makes mistakes but when goalkeepers make them it's obvious to everybody. However, he has proved throughout his whole career how good he is, and tonight he confirmed it.

Luciano Spalletti, Zenit coach
Abbiati made some amazing saves – he literally plucked some balls away from the net. Our goalkeeper didn't have as much to do in comparison, if you don't consider the goals. We started badly but managed to react well until we scored the equaliser.

Unfortunately the individual incidents did not go our way tonight but when you make too many mistakes, eventually you have to accept defeat. We didn't play to our full potential – we did at certain points but only in parts. If you want to become a big team you have to play well for 90 minutes, especially in this competition.

It is a very sad evening for me. You always feel great disappontment after defeats in these matches. I have a feeling that the players forgot about the importance of this game, they did not take full responsibility. As a result we conceded twice in the space of 16 minutes, like we did against Málaga [on matchday one]. We need to play better.

However, we are not out yet, we can still qualify, but we have to start playing better and winning games immediately. I would be very angry if anybody in the team thinks it's over after these two defeats.

Last updated: 25/09/14 4.30CET

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