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Klaas-Jan Huntelaar was full of praise for evergreen Raúl González after the Netherlands forward helped FC Schalke 04 beat FC Steaua Bucureşti to top UEFA Europa League Group J in what was his 50th UEFA club competition match. Goalkeeper Lars Unnerstall was never in doubt that the German side would overcome their Romanian opponents while Steaua defender Geraldo Alves said that conceding the first goal was just the inspiration his team needed to improve their performance.
Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, Schalke forward
I was not even aware this was my 50th match [in UEFA club competition], but I feel pretty good about the game – although there is always room for improvement. I had a few chances and it is a shame I did not score, although I was involved in Raúl's goal. It is great to play alongside him because he is very experienced, clever, and has seen so much.
Steaua scored on a counter with what was really their only chance, so suddenly it was 1-1, but in the second half we put them under pressure again and we deserved to win.
Lars Unnerstall, Schalke goalkeeper
The first half-hour we were on fire – we had 12 corners or so. It was a shame we only scored once. After that our game deteriorated and we could not take control of the midfield as we had done earlier on. It was very annoying for me when they scored – it was their first shot – but I have to admit it was a great move. In the second half we had no doubt we would win the match. Now we are going to Haifa and we want to win there too. I do not care who we play in the knockout round as long as we win.
Geraldo Alves, Steaua defender
We started badly and knew they would come at us with the crowd behind them. We have a lot of young players that are not really used to this, but after they scored it liberated us and we played better. I would not say it was intimidating [playing against players such as Huntelaar and Raúl] but it gave us extra motivation. We always see them on TV and we want to prove ourselves when we play against them. Overall
I thought we defended well. The result was not that bad either and we still have a chance to reach the next stage because AEK Larnaca won.
Ilie Stan, Steaua coach
I thought we could take at least a point, but Raúl's goal was the result of an individual mistake and this cost us any chance of success. If we cannot work out how to eliminate such errors in the future then it will be tough to take something from these matches. I am happy we are still in the race for the next round, but now we have to win our last match to give ourselves a chance of progressing.
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