The official website for European football

Zenit sitting pretty after ugly victory

Published: Thursday 25 October 2012, 0.35CET
Opponents Nicolas Lombaerts and Oleksandr Yakovenko agreed that it is better "to play badly and win" than not win at all after FC Zenit St Petersburg beat RSC Anderlecht in Group C.
by Richard van Poortvliet
from Stadion Petrovski

This content is streamed in such a way that it is protected and available only in a Flash format. Your device seems not to be compatible with our Flash video player.

 
 
 
Published: Thursday 25 October 2012, 0.35CET

Zenit sitting pretty after ugly victory

Opponents Nicolas Lombaerts and Oleksandr Yakovenko agreed that it is better "to play badly and win" than not win at all after FC Zenit St Petersburg beat RSC Anderlecht in Group C.

Nicolas Lombaerts said he prefers "to play badly and win" than perform well and lose after a disjointed FC Zenit St Petersburg side, beaten by AC Milan last time out in Group C despite dominating, scraped a 1-0 victory against RSC Anderlecht. Visiting players Milan Jovanović and Oleksandr Yakovenko agreed with the sentiment and although they felt their side provided "a good advert for Belgian football", Anderlecht are now targeting second or third place in the section.

I would much prefer us to play badly and win. Against AC Milan we played very good football but ended up on the losing side
Nicolas Lombaerts
If we win next time out then we will be in third place and then perhaps we could even battle for second spot. It's not over yet.
Oleksandr Yakovenko

Axel Witsel, Zenit midfielder
It was very important for us to win, especially from a mental perspective. We now need to go to Anderlecht looking to win that game. We were up against a team playing very well and they posed us a number of problems throughout. I thought we did very well surprising them with a quick free-kick, which caught them unawares [and led to the penalty being awarded]. The most important thing today was the victory.

Hulk is a threat to any opponent, a massive asset; he is one of our main strengths. At the moment he is in great form, it was just a shame he didn't manage to score.

Nicolas Lombaerts, Zenit defender
We knew we had to win. We were playing against a team that was very well organised and we gave the ball away far too much. We were chasing possession for a lot of the game and that created difficulties for us.

I hope this win brings confidence. It wasn't a nice victory but it was an important one and I hope we can win again in Anderlecht, but playing better football. Then again, I would much prefer us to play badly and win. Against AC Milan we played very good football but ended up on the losing side.

Milan Jovanović, Anderlecht forward
Sometimes in football you put in maximum effort, but get nothing in return. The way we played was a good advert for Belgian football and Anderlecht. This was our best game in this year's UEFA Champions League and we will try and win in Brussels and claim third place in the group.

We are from Belgium but there is a lot of pressure on us because people expect a lot. We played really well and deserved more from the game – a point is the least we deserved. At the highest level there is not a great difference between teams.

Oleksandr Yakovenko, Anderlecht forward
We played really well and it was very disappointing that we didn't manage to get a victory, let alone a draw. I don't know about the second half, but certainly in the first we enjoyed the majority of possession and had the better chances. We certainly didn't sit back in defence.

When a team is playing well, it says a lot about a team's confidence. It's better to play badly and win, than to play well and lose, as you don't get points for playing an attractive style of football. If we win next time out then we will be in third place and then perhaps we could even battle for second spot. It's not over yet.

Last updated: 27/11/12 10.56CET

Related information

Player profiles
Team profiles

http://www.uefa.com/uefachampionsleague/news/newsid=1881159.html#zenit+sitting+pretty+after+ugly+victory

  • © 1998-2014 UEFA. All rights reserved.
  • The CHAMPIONS LEAGUE and UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE words, the UEFA Champions League logo and trophy and the UEFA Champions League Final logos are protected by trade marks and/or copyright of UEFA. No use for commercial purposes may be made of such trade marks. Use of UEFA.com signifies your agreement to the Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.