Poland midfielder Adrian Mierzejewski returned to Warsaw to help Trabzonspor AŞ to the verge of the UEFA Europa League round of 32 during what he described as a "special night".
A 2-0 victory at Legia Warszawa – matching the result a fortnight ago in the reverse fixture – ended the home side's hopes and leaves Group J leaders Trabzonspor six points clear of Apollon Limassol FC in third and knowing a draw when the Cypriot club visit on 28 November would ensure a knockout berth.
Mierzejewski, who moved from Legia's rivals KSP Polonia Warszawa to Turkey in 2011, played a part in both Trabzonspor goals and showed his delight, while Tomasz Brzyski was "angry" his team have been eliminated without a point or a goal.
Adrian Mierzejewski, Trabzonspor midfielder
It was a special night for me. I came back to my native country and won a very important match. We are leaders of the group, this is exactly what we aimed for.
We came here to take three points and we did it. That first match against Legia, in Trabzon, was more difficult. Here we had a simple plan – let Legia play and let them believe in themselves; then we were going to counterattack suddenly and score. As the result shows, we fulfilled our plan perfectly.
In two matches with Legia we scored four goals and did not concede. It proves we were better. Of course, it is an unforgettable night for me, I was in my home country again. To play in such a stadium and in such a hot atmosphere was great. We have ten points at the moment and that makes me proud.
Didier Zokora, Trabzonspor midfielder
Maybe we were not better than Legia, but we won thanks to our intelligence. It was not an easy game for us, especially in the first half when we were put under pressure a lot. But generally we were well-organised, especially in defence, and we knew when to counterattack.
I am proud of my team because this is fantastic mix of experienced players like [Florent] Malouda, [José] Bosingwa and me with young and promising lads. And what is important is that we are a united group, meaning everybody fights for Trabzonspor and not for individual goals.
I am also glad for Adrian Mierzejewski. This was a special game for him as he played in his native country. For this reason he had particular pressure on him, but he dealt with that perfectly. I would also like to underline the very good atmosphere at the match. I liked it, it gave me additional motivation to play better.
Tomasz Brzyski, Legia defender
We haven't played bad football in the Europa League this season, but we are still with no points and no goals – and we are angry about that. We are not inferior to our opponents, but we were unable to score against them. This is really strange as we don't lack good chances – we create lot of them. I don't know whether the main problem is just lack of luck or something else.
We lost any hope of qualifying, but we will fight until the end – we want to score some goals in the last two matches. Trabzonspor have beaten us mainly because of the experience of their players. They have players with a big past in the Champions League or Europa League. It helped them a lot.
Jakub Rzeźniczak, Legia defender and captain
We conceded two goals – actually we put one into our own net. We were not able to score, although we had good chances. Trabzonspor were very efficient. It is not nice to know we are the only team in the Europa League group stage without a goal. The only hope is that we will leave a better impression in the last two matches.
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