• André Villas-Boas thinks Hulk showed his class after scoring twice to help FC Zenit through 3-0
• Axel Witselsaid it was "special" as his former team R. Standard de Liège were eliminated4-0 on aggregate
• Standard coach Guy Luzon says their opponents deserve their place in the group stage
André Villas-Boas, Zenit coach
It was a very tough game in the first half and we made a lot of mistakes. Perhaps because of this, Standard believed in their chances of winning. In the second half we looked very good, despite the fact we had fewer players. Perhaps Viktor Fayzulin forgot he had a yellow card, it does happen in football. He apologised to the team at half-time. Fayzulin is a top player, a great player who plays in the national team. This is a player who can see a pass and we fully trust him.
Hulk was injured, but he responded well to treatment to recover and showed his class on the pitch.
It would be difficult to play against Porto [in the group stage]. Of the two Portuguese teams, I would prefer [to be drawn against] Benfica. Our goal this season is to get to at least the quarter-finals. We want to play against the strongest opponents. We've built a good team that has something to prove.
Axel Witsel, Zenit midfielder
I enjoyed this game. For me, it was special because it was against my former team. We didn't start well. We lost some easy balls but after we scored it was easier. At half-time we said we had to keep the team compact and try to score on the break – which we did, twice. Now it's all perfect.
Anatoliy Tymoshchuk, Zenit midfielder
Everybody knew failing to qualify for the group stage would be a catastrophe. So we were very composed in these two games and it is very pleasing to go through with two wins. We were one man short so I had to play for myself and for the other guy, as they say. The team did their job. Hulk has some very good qualities, but I can tell you he is not playing the football he is capable of. He has room to improve. But he is one of Zenit's most important players.
Of course I would love to meet my friends from Bayern, Real Madrid and Manchester City [in the group stage]. If each of us perform to our best, we have the capacity to rival any top team.
Oleg Shatov, Zenit midfielder
It is good that we are through. They [the Zenit supporters] would not have forgiven us for not making it to the group stage – and neither would we. I want to play against the best. We were not worried [at half-time]. Even with ten men, we controlled the flow of the game completely. Standard did not have a chance tonight. Hulk played for the team – he looks better and better with every game, just like the whole team.
Guy Luzon, Standard Liège coach
I don't think our problem were the сentral defenders, they played well, and the first half of the match was good for us. But in the second half we lost concentration. Zenit began to counterattack dangerously and scored. Zenit deserved to qualify for the group stage of the Champions League, they are stronger than us with world-class players.
In the Europa League we will try to make the most of our chance, even though we have a number of injuries. We would like to have a stronger team. It is too early to say what will happen this season – many things may change.
Eiji Kawashima, Standard goalkeeper
It's disappointing because we had a chance to get into the [group stage of the] Champions League. But we also have to admit that we played against another level of football. This is the UEFA Champions League level. In football, you have chances to win against stronger teams but they're also examples for you to see how to improve yourself. Sometimes you can defend for 90 minutes and win, but it does not happen very often.
The goals came from our mistakes. In our last two games in the competition we conceded goals too easily. Last season we were stronger in defence, we were more aggressive and we were individually stronger in one-on-one situations. We need to recover mentally. Hulk can always be dangerous – he is very strong and when he dribbles, he makes the difference.
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