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Hleb hails BATE's breakthrough triumph

Published: Thursday 20 September 2012, 1.15CET
FC BATE Borisov playmaker Aleksandr Hleb praised the careful preparations for his team's "historic" first ever group stage win, a 3-1 success that left hosts LOSC Lille reeling.
by Chris Burke
from Grand Stade Lille Métropole

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Published: Thursday 20 September 2012, 1.15CET

Hleb hails BATE's breakthrough triumph

FC BATE Borisov playmaker Aleksandr Hleb praised the careful preparations for his team's "historic" first ever group stage win, a 3-1 success that left hosts LOSC Lille reeling.

Playmaker Aleksandr Hleb applauded FC BATE Borisov's careful preparations, as well as the second-half efforts of goalkeeper Andrei Gorbunov, after their "historic" 3-1 Group F win at LOSC Lille. It was the Belarusian champions' first ever victory in the UEFA Champions League group stage and it left the hosts struggling for words, with centre-back Aurélien Chedjou arguing that he and his colleagues "didn't show enough character" in a disastrous opening period.

We were very motivated for this game and watched lots of videos beforehand, so we were very well prepared and played the way we wanted to
Aleksandr Hleb
We didn't show enough character in the first half – maybe we thought that as we were playing at home to BATE Borisov, we'd sort things out very quickly, but we shot ourselves in the foot
Aurélien Chedjou

Aleksandr Hleb, BATE midfielder
It was our first win, a historic one, and we beat a very strong team. We were very motivated for this game and watched lots of videos beforehand, so we were very well prepared and played the way we wanted to. The first goal was a breath of fresh air for us – we were very happy that it came at a good moment and it gave us confidence for the rest of the game.

In the second half, we were slightly relaxed and surprised by the scoreline – 3-0 – so we let our guard down and had to deal with a large number of chances. We changed tactics because of that and we also have to thank our goalkeeper, who kept out quite a lot of dangerous goal attempts.

For us, this is just the first step. We need to take things match by match and be motivated for every game. Even LOSC can still turn things around.

Aleksandr Pavlov, BATE midfielder
After the first goal, we changed our tactics according to the coach's instructions and our mood was lifted. Then we scored the second and third goals, and that was just great. We expected a more aggressive match from this LOSC team. As for the rest of the competition, this is our first victory and it's better to take one day at a time and go from game to game than to believe everything is possible.

Aurélien Chedjou, LOSC defender
There's nothing to explain. We didn't show enough character in the first half – maybe we thought that as we were playing at home to BATE Borisov, we'd sort things out very quickly, but we shot ourselves in the foot. We were up against a very good Champions League team, even if they're from Belarus. We'll have to get over the blow we received tonight and start to think very quickly about [Olympique Lyonnais on] Sunday.

I don't want to say we were overconfident. We were given a warning against Troyes at the weekend, and now everyone will have to raise their game individually to meet our goals this season. We've started worse this year than last because we've lost our first game at home against a team potentially on the same level as us. We didn't show our real selves tonight, except perhaps in the second half because we shook things up. We have to take control of our upcoming games – we have to stop waiting to concede one, two or three goals before we fight back.

The coach spoke a lot to us at half-time and full time, but between ourselves we didn't need anything put into words. We looked each other in the eye and we know we had no right to play the way we did tonight in front of our own fans and in the first game in the Champions League. We have no words to explain it and we just have to get it out of our minds.

Túlio De Melo, LOSC forward
We're all very disappointed. We know we played a bad first half in particular. We don't know what happened. We worked hard in the week, we have a good team and thought we'd do a lot better than that, but it didn't work. There's no doubt that when you lose a match at home, it's not good for the rest of the competition. Perhaps subconsciously we thought we were better than them. We talked about that beforehand because we couldn't afford to look down on them. We had to take them seriously – I think we did, but not enough. The second half showed we have the pride to fight back and play better. At the moment, there's less fluidity to our game and we're creating fewer chances.

Last updated: 30/11/12 18.45CET

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