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Luiz praise for Chelsea's Spain stars

David Luiz scored the goal that set Chelsea FC on their way to victory over Bayer 04 Leverkusen but the defender singled out the team's Spaniards as the crucial contributors.

David Luiz celebrates putting Chelsea in front
David Luiz celebrates putting Chelsea in front ©Getty Images

David Luiz paid tribute to Spain pair Juan Mata and Fernando Torres after scoring the goal that helped Chelsea FC make a winning start to their tenth UEFA Champions League campaign, in a 2-0 victory over Bayer 04 Leverkusen. While downbeat at the defeat at Stamford Bridge, Leverkusen pair André Schürrle and Renato Augusto were adamant that better Group E days lie ahead for the visitors.

David Luiz, Chelsea defender
My goal was important in the context of the match. We spent most of the game looking to score and chasing the victory, and fortunately I got the goal, which helped to build the win for us. Mata is an excellent player. He's proved this since the very first time he trained with us. He had a great game, like Fernando [Torres], who didn't manage to score but had two assists. These two are part of a very strong group, which is full of players of great quality.

Petr Čech, Chelsea goalkeeper
It was a great honour for me to captain the team. I have been here almost eight years and it was a privilege to follow so many great players [who have worn the armband]. As a goalkeeper you have a lot of responsibilities so if you are the captain it's more or less the same. The advantage in the Champions League is that there are five referees so if I need something I can speak to the fifth referee and manage to communicate with the main referee. We deserved to win the game. We created many chances and could have won by more than 2-0.

André Schürrle, Leverkusen forward
Chelsea were the favourites to win this match and played very well. In the last 30 minutes I don't think we had any chances. It was a very big game for us. Many in our team, myself included, were playing their first [UEFA] Champions League match. I think we can beat the other two teams in the group, Valencia and Genk. We now have two home games and we have to win them both. 

Renato Augusto, Leverkusen midfielder
We had our opportunity to get the draw. We lost, but it's only the first game. We still hope to win the next game and climb up the table. We left a good impression. I think we can improve a lot. We’ll keep improving, and winning games. I'm happy for Michael Ballack. He was pleased to come back here, very pleased. He played well.