Alain Rochat said FC Zürich's 1-0 victory at AC Milan has given the Swiss titleholders the belief to push on to the knockout stages. "If we can win here, we can win anywhere," the defender declared.
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Alain Rochat conceded FC Zürich rode their luck at times, but said their momentous 1-0 victory at AC Milan has given the Swiss champions the confidence to push on to the knockout stages. "If we can win here, we can win anywhere," the defender said.
Zürich had lost their three previous matches, including a 5-2 drubbing by Real Madrid CF on Matchday 1, while striker Eric Hassli suffered a broken leg four days before their trip to northern Italy. All that, however, was forgotten when captain Hannu Tihinen put his side ahead with a terrific piece of skill on ten minutes, meeting a corner first time with a back-flick that flashed past goalkeeper Marco Storari. Thereafter, despite enduring numerous attempts on goal in the second half, Bernard Challandes' side held out for a famous win.
"We are really happy," said left-back Rochat, who signed for the Swiss club from Stade Rennais FC three years ago. "We played a good match and we had a bit of luck as well right up until the final whistle. But in the end we're delighted with the three points. We had a lot of luck but in the first half we played really well and after scoring an early goal it was crucial to try and hold on to our lead, which we managed to do."
Milan created numerous chances to draw level and goalkeeper Johnny Leoni pulled off a series of remarkable saves to deny the Rossoneri before Gianluca Zambrotta hit the post in the dying seconds. "Milan are my favourite side, so it means a lot to me to win at San Siro," added the 26-year-old Rochat, who was replaced by Florian Stahel with 10 minutes remaining. "It was agonising at the end when Zambrotta hit the post. I was on the bench and my heart was in my mouth, but in the end it went well for us and we're really pleased."
Rochat is also convinced this result can serve as a springboard to greater things for Zürich, who have moved into second in Group C alongside Milan – three points behind Madrid. "After this result we believe we can qualify for the next round now," he added. "We play Marseille at home next and if we can win here then, we can win anywhere."