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Hazard takes heart from Lille quality

Published: Thursday 8 December 2011, 9.16CET
Eden Hazard took solace from the quality of LOSC Lille Métropole's play after their Group B exit while Trabzonspor AŞ midfielder Didier Zokora switched his focus to the UEFA Europa League.
by Chris Burke
from Stadium Lille Métropole
Hazard takes heart from Lille quality
Eden Hazard was unable to find a way through the Trabzonspor defence ©Getty Images
 
 
 
Published: Thursday 8 December 2011, 9.16CET

Hazard takes heart from Lille quality

Eden Hazard took solace from the quality of LOSC Lille Métropole's play after their Group B exit while Trabzonspor AŞ midfielder Didier Zokora switched his focus to the UEFA Europa League.

Disappointment and frustration reigned for LOSC Lille Métropole and Trabzonspor AŞ following their goalless draw as both clubs faced up to UEFA Champions League elimination. The two sets of players nonetheless sought positives from their Group B campaigns, with Lille forward Eden Hazard convinced his side had played the best football in the section and Trabzonspor midfielder Didier Zokora content with third place and a spot in the UEFA Europa League.

We just lacked a little luck in front of goal. We dominated possession. It's hard to take because we just needed one goal to go through
Eden Hazard
We're very proud of our first ever performance in the Champions League. As a team that beat Inter, we'll now continue in the Europa League
Didier Zokora

Eden Hazard, Lille forward
It's a huge disappointment as we had every chance of going through. In the first half, we had plenty of opportunities but failed to put any in the back of the net. I think we did everything as perfectly as we could have in this match. We just lacked a little luck in front of goal. We dominated possession. It's hard to take because we just needed one goal to go through. On the other hand, you mustn't forget that we're a very young team. Lots of players were playing in the Champions League for the first time. These are the types of games you learn and improve in.

In terms of the quality of our play, we were the best in our group. Unfortunately, in football it's not always the best team that wins. We've gained experience over these six matches, and that can only be good for this team in the future. We're not a great side yet. Great teams know when to shut up shop and score at the right time, and that's what we need to learn.

Franck Béria, Lille defender
We're very disappointed with this result. It's cruel, and what's even more frustrating is that we were the French team that perhaps had the best chance of going through. We just couldn't get the goal that would have made all the difference against a side that played very defensively. Maybe we also lacked a little patience at a certain point in the game. I'm tempted to say that as we couldn't find a way through their defence, we perhaps don't deserve to go through. What makes it more annoying is that I think we would have beaten this team on another day, but we couldn't on the day that mattered.

Ludovic Obraniak, Lille midfielder
It's tough. We came so close but we weren't able to seize our chance. After the first half and all the opportunities we had, I thought a goal would come. I don't think it was tonight's game that cost us most, however. We should have made the difference in our opening two games against CSKA and Trabzonspor. We need to pick ourselves back up because we still have huge challenges to come, starting with our title defence and also the national cup competitions. This club is continuing to grow and now we have to qualify for next season's Champions League.

Didier Zokora, Trabzonspor midfielder
We're disappointed because everything depended on Inter as well. It's a shame as we played a great game and we weren't rewarded for it. That said, we can content ourselves on finishing third. The match against Lille was very difficult tonight. They're a very good side with huge potential up front, with Hazard, [Moussa] Sow and [Joe] Cole. We played very deep and hoped for the right result in the Inter game, but it didn't work out. Still, it's good for the town and the club to have finished ahead of Lille and very close to Inter and CSKA in terms of points. We're very proud of our first ever performance in the Champions League. As a team that beat Inter, we'll now continue in the Europa League. There's a long road ahead, but we're optimistic.

Giray Kaçar, Trabzonspor defender
We heard about the late goal in the other match while we were still on the pitch, but that didn't affect us. We could have scored in the second half. In the last five minutes, they took risks and we failed to convert opportunities. We also have some regrets about several moments along the way in the group. We were denied by the posts in a few games. If those had been goals, we would have been in the knockout phase.

Tolga Zengin, Trabzonspor goalkeeper
We failed to control our own destiny. Lille played the best football in the group, but they were eliminated. Strong teams like Manchester United, Manchester City, Ajax and Valencia have suffered the same fate. A late goal was scored in the Inter-CSKA match and it just wasn't our day. We would have loved to advance into the next round in our first ever participation in the competition, but it wasn't to be. The Champions League is the most prestigious competition in world football and it was really nice to be a part of it. We gained experience from it and would love to have more.

Last updated: 01/12/12 23.20CET

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