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Solbakken delights at København control

Ståle Solbakken hailed a "fantastic" spell at the end of the first half as his FC København side went clear at the top of Group D, already six points better off than Panathinaikos FC.

Solbakken delights at København control
Solbakken delights at København control ©UEFA.com

Panathinaikos FC coach Nikos Nioplias was left to rue Gilberto Silva's red card three minutes after half-time as a 2-0 defeat at home to FC København left the Greek titleholders rooted to the foot of Group D. His side were already trailing to goals from Dame N'Doye and Martin Vingaard, leaving Ståle Solbakken hailing a "fantastic" first-half spell.

Nikos Nioplias, Panathinaikos coach
We gave a good account ourselves early on but then we started to make mistakes and the goal really knocked the players off their stride. The game was all but over after the sending off. We paid for our mistakes; the second half did not happen as a contest.

I don't think we need any major changes. We are still in the Champions League but unfortunately we're behind at the moment. Only two games have gone though, and there's always the next match. A defeat is always a concern, especially when you make so many mistakes. But we must put it behind us and move on.

Ståle Solbakken, København coach
We have two really good central defenders and two strong full-backs, and we knew that [Djibril] Cissé would not be particularly good at benefitting from the space behind them. Our formation was compact and we aimed to play as far up the field as possible; there is a certain risk in doing that, but today we were in complete control, apart from the first minute. The last half-hour of the first half was particularly fantastic from our side.