Real Sociedad de Fútbol's Raynald Denoueix was overjoyed following his team's second tournament victory.
Real Sociedad de Fútbol coach Raynald Denoueix was delighted with his team's start to their first UEFA Champions League campaign as a 2-1 victory at Galatasaray SK left the Spanish side with maximum points from their two matches so far.
"In two games we have got six points - mathematically we could not have done any better," Denoueix said. "We want to get more points before the end of the stage, obviously, but we are satisfied."
He said he was proud of the way his team took their chances against opponents who largely dominated possession throughout the game. "Galatasaray had more control during the game but controlling the game does not bring you the results," the Real coach pointed out. "After all, it was us who got the three points."
Juventus FC's victory at Olympiacos CFP - also by a 2-1 scoreline - left the two sides level on six points at the top of Group D, ahead of their two fixtures on Matchday 3 and 4. Meanwhile, neither Olympiacos nor Galatasaray have been able to collect a single point yet, a fact that Denouiex was quick to point out. "The result of the game between Juventus and Olympiacos was also important for us, as it gives us an advantage over the other two teams in the group."
In a game where Real often struggled to win the ball, the highlight was the first-half performance of Turkish striker Nihat Kahveci, just back from injury, whose quick burst created the first goal for striker partner Darko Kovacevic after just three minutes. "Nihat did very well in the first half," his coach said. "He's trying to get back to peak fitness but everything he did had a positive effect on the game."
In contrast, Galatasaray coach Fatih Terim was bitterly disappointed to see his team play so well and end up with nothing, as they had in Turin against Juventus. As in that game, Galatasaray fell behind to an early goal, worked hard to get themselves back on level terms as Hakan Sükür equalised a minute past the hour, only to concede what proved to be the winning goal moments later, Xabi Alonso striking to earn the three points for Real.
"It was the same kind of game as the Juventus match," said Terim, whose side's chances of getting back into the match suffered a major setback when Hasan Sas was dismissed eight minutes from time. "We played in exactly the same way, and it was the same result."
The Galatasaray coach was left ruing the chances his side created but were unable to take. "We conceded a goal very early. We found ourselves in a lot of scoring positions and in the second half we totally controlled the game," Terim said. "We then scored which gave us extra motivation but we made a mistake to allow them to score - just like we did against Juve. As a team, we needed to score, but that was our main problem."
While reflecting on his side’s disastrous start to the competition, Terim put his faith in collective responsibility and said that hard work and team play would be needed to get Galatasaray back into contention. "All my players are responsible for the mistake, not individuals," Terim said.