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Dick Advocaat hailed FC Zenit St. Petersburg's "historic moment" after the Russian champions reached the UEFA Cup semi-finals for the first time, despite a 1-0 home reverse in the second leg against Bayer 04 Leverkusen. The German side's coach, Michael Skibbe, was gracious in the 4-2 aggregate defeat, commending his players for salvaging lost pride following a "dreadful performance" last week.
Dick Advocaat, Zenit coach
First of all, it is a historic moment for our club to reach the semi-finals. Fully deserved, I must say. We didn't play well in the first half and looked nervous. Leverkusen outplayed us in fact, and we were lucky to stay only one goal down by half-time. But we were a better team after the break and I feel we deserved a draw. We were a bit inhibited during that opening period and played very cautiously as we had six players one yellow card away from suspension. In the end the players did a great job not to get a single booking. It's a pity Anatoliy Tymoschuk didn't convert the penalty to level the scores but he will remain our regular penalty taker despite the miss. The most important thing, though, is to go through. I don't really care who we play in the next round. It is too early to think about winning the UEFA Cup but we definitely have a chance. At the moment, though, I'm just pleased to be in the semi-finals.
Michael Skibbe, Leverkusen coach
I would like to congratulate Zenit on their aggregate win and wish them luck in the semi-final. They fully deserved to go through. At the same time I'm really pleased we were able to win today to redeem ourselves for a dreadful performance in the first leg. We played with a lot of pace and purpose in the first half but unfortunately we couldn't find the second goal to make Zenit a little bit nervous. After the break Zenit took the initiative and put pressure on us, although we still had chances at their end of the pitch. But we didn't take them in the end.
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