Advocaat rues missed chances
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
After the goalless draw with already-qualified Juventus, FC Zenit St. Petersburg coach Dick Advocaat bemoaned the failure to take chances which may have ended their hopes of reaching the knockout phase.
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After the goalless draw with already-qualified Juventus, FC Zenit St. Petersburg coach Dick Advocaat bemoaned the failure to take chances which has ended their hopes of reaching the UEFA Champions League knockout phase from Group H. Bianconeri chief Claudio Ranieri was keen to bounce back from Saturday's domestic loss at FC Internazionale Milano and said their performance shows they took the game seriously.
Dick Advocaat, Zenit coach
These were two teams with different ways of thinking. Juventus had already qualified while Zenit had to win to stay in contention. So one team could afford a more cautious approach and the other took all the risks. Juventus had their chances at the start of both halves and after that we had some five or six chances ourselves. But after 90 minutes I can say that 0-0 is a fair score. We were creating enough chances so I did not want to make too many substitutions, but if you want to win you have to score.
As for our overall display in the Champions League, so far I am only unhappy with not scoring enough while creating many chances. But it has nothing to do with the quality of our play. We deserve to have more points than we have now. But in football you do not always get what you deserve. Juventus are one of Italy's top teams with some of the best players in the country. Looking at the way we played against them, we can be proud of our team. After the match [Alessandro] Del Piero told me we have a great team. I told him he is a great player. Which is true.
Claudio Ranieri, Juventus coach
Both teams played to win. Zenit needed a victory to have a chance of qualifying for the last 16 while Juventus wanted to prove we are in good shape despite Saturday's set-back against Internazionale. We wanted to win and leave a good impression. That is why our captain [Del Piero] took part in today's match. We probably made more mistakes than we should have made, but the pitch was quite slippery so in general I am satisfied with our organisation.
Zenit have the quality to beat Real Madrid's defence. I have huge respect for Dick Advocaat and I like Dutch football. We studied Zenit's game and I could tell that they are a good team that play quick football. We fielded our first team here which proves we played to win, not just to play another match. If Zenit are just fifth in Russian league, it means that the competition has improved. It is difficult to find the reasons for our profligacy. We just did not convert what we created.