Player Rater winner and two-goal hero Isco said that inspiring home-town team Málaga CF to a 3-0 debut victory in the UEFA Champions League was the stuff of dreams. However, FC Zenit St Petersburg front man Luka Djordjević said that the scoreline did not tell the full story of the opening Group C encounter.
Isco, Málaga forward
That was a complete performance, not just from me but the entire team. We played terrifically. The fans can really be proud of us now. We've been putting in so much work and the product is a performance like that. This team always goes out with the idea of pressing high up the pitch, scoring goals quickly and it really came off today.
Playing in the Champions League is the best thing there is – just incredible. I don't think there can be anything better, but now it is time to take things game by game. There is lots of confidence in this squad and if we manage to continue playing at this level then we can qualify for the next round – in fact the draw in the other Group C game [AC Milan 0-0 RSC Anderlecht] is good for us. There are five games left and you never know what might happen. We really believe in our chances.
Willy Caballero, Málaga goalkeeper
The fact we had lots of defensive work to do and still sent them away without a goal makes it an even more complete night. They are Russian champions and just before the transfer deadline they signed some big, talented players, and we had to be ready for that. Hulk hit the bar today, thankfully, and he had another couple of chances but they didn't go in either. It was a complete performance by us.
The coach told us to play with the same philosophy he's always imparted to us – to go for it, to dominate possession, to make as much space as possible, and to use the wings and move the ball inside too. In the Liga we are doing that fine. But here, for 20 or 30 minutes, perhaps we didn't manage it. Isco's first goal opened things up and if it didn't quite make the game easier it certainly gave us the better of the first half and we took advantage of our dominance.
Isco has been with us nearly a year and a half and he's in incredible form. You can see he's a great player and let's hope he keeps going like this because I see no limits for him.
Luka Djordjević, Zenit forward
It was a match with lots of chances. We had quite a few plus they scored three goals. So not a good night for us. We came here to win this match and we lost 3-0 so we are very unhappy. But I think the next time we meet, in the Stadion Petrovski [on 21 November], things will be very different.
They scored their first goal very quickly and we could not find our way back into the match for a while. After that they got another and everything was so bad. Next time it will be different.
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