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|I||Sparta Praha||19:00||H. Kiryat Shmona|
Håvard Nordtveit was delighted with the way VfL Borussia Mönchengladbach bounced back from domestic disappointment to register their first UEFA Europa League Group C victory against Olympique de Marseille. The Norway midfielder nonetheless warned a step up would be required if the Foals are to reproduce the result in France in two weeks' time, while Marseille's Joey Barton remains confident Les Phocéens can make amends on home turf.
Håvard Nordtveit, Mönchengladbach midfielder
To win tonight was fantastic. It was nice not to concede, especially after losing 4-0 in Bremen at the weekend. If we lost confidence there, we've regained it now and we can take that into the game against Hannover at the weekend. Then, when the second game against Marseille comes around, we can begin to focus on that.
We knew it was going to be hard against Marseille. They're [joint] top of the table in France. They started a bit better than we did and kept the ball, whereas we were giving it away too often, but in the end we got the win.
Of course we want to finish as high in the group as we can but if it's second place we're fighting for then we need to give our all in Marseille. If we can win there then it's six points from the two games, but I think we're going to have to do a little more if we're going to win over there.
Luuk de Jong, Mönchengladbach forward
It was a difficult game. We improved as the first half progressed and then we got the penalty and that gave us the push we needed. In the second half I think it was quite even. They had some chances, but so did we. It was a great goal from Peniel [Mlapa] which helped secure the win.
We've shown that we can beat them, which is good. There's no reason why we can't win over there now. If we believe in ourselves and work hard like we did tonight then we can win there too. I looked at the statistics and they showed we ran a lot tonight.
Thorben Marx, Mönchengladbach midfielder
It was certainly a very difficult win. We'd only managed to earn a point up to now, but this opens things up in the group. If you beat a good side 2-0 I think you have to be satisfied. We haven't been getting results of late and we've been conceding a lot of goals. We've still got a little way to go, but I think we defended really well tonight and didn't let much through.
Our primary objective at the moment is to stabilise things at the back because we know we're always good for a goal up front, even if there is still room for improvement going forward. We want to remain in the competition over Christmas and to do that we needed these three points. Now it's time to enjoy the victory before we start looking at getting three points in Marseille.
Joey Barton, Marseille midfielder
Obviously we're disappointed. We gave away a sloppy penalty but I think it was a fairly balanced game. I thought I'd scored when Mathieu [Valbuena] played a great ball in but Jordan Ayew was in the way and literally a minute later they scored. I thought it might have been a free-kick but [Peniel Mlapa] went on to score a great goal and really from that moment it was game over. It's disappointing, but there's still a lot to play for in this group.
I think the scoreline flatters them and I think it'll be a different game at the Vélodrome. They had a packed house here tonight but it'll be a role reversal in two weeks' time so I'm quite confident we'll beat them.
I'm learning the language. It's obviously difficult for an Englishman abroad. We tend to be very lazy in embracing other languages and cultures and I'm no different. I'm taking French lessons and picking it up bit by bit but it'll probably be a few months before I'll be able to do an interview in French.
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