After losing 4-1 to FC Zenit St. Petersburg, Bayer 04 Leverkusen coach Michael Skibbe said his team had thrown away all their hard work in this year's UEFA Cup and that their capitulation was a case of "déjà vu" following the heavy defeat by CA Osasuna at the same stage last season. His opposite number Dick Advocaat insisted Zenit were not yet assured of a maiden appearance in the semi-finals despite a "more than fantastic" display.
Michael Skibbe, Leverkusen coach
We have suffered a collapse similar to the same stage last season [3-0 at home to CA Osasuna]. So it is déjà vu for us. We just couldn't find our strength. It's a pity we even helped out St Petersburg for the first goal when [Tranquillo] Barnetta lost the ball. In the second half they were able to construct fast breaks, something we wanted to avoid. I'm really down now, like everybody in the team. It is a bitter pill that we have ruined all the good games we have played this season in just one match. But earlier in the campaign we were playing better football – at the moment we just aren't playing as well as we can. It's obvious that we are not on the level of other teams in this competition. Our chances are quite poor now – in the return we want to perform better and see what happens. I expect St Petersburg to play even more confidently next week, so it will be a very tough game, which will probably be our last in this year's UEFA Cup.
Dick Advocaat, Zenit coach
It was a well-deserved win. What we produced was more than fantastic. We wanted to put them under pressure in their own half and that went very well – I'm very satisfied with the display, though we are not in the semi-finals yet. We have to play a hard second leg so until the end of that game, there's no reason to celebrate. We knew Leverkusen's results against other teams in the competition, such as Galatasaray [AS], and the equaliser Leverkusen got showed once again that they can score goals out of nothing. They are a really good team, but not once today did I think we would lose. It was the quality of our side that brought the victory, and it wasn't because they underestimated us. This was not our best performance, however, because that came when we played at home to Olympique [de] Marseille. The difference was that we scored more today than in that match. Next season we want to play in the UEFA Champions League, but this year we want to win as many games as possible in the UEFA Cup. I hope we'll beat Leverkusen a second time next week.
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