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Spalletti salutes intensity of Zenit display

Luciano Spalletti hailed the intensity of his FC Zenit St Petersburg side after two-goal Roman Shirokov helped them come from behind to record a 3-1 win against ten-man FC Porto.

Spalletti salutes intensity of Zenit display
Spalletti salutes intensity of Zenit display ©

Luciano Spalletti, Zenit coach
We played an incredible match, with great intensity, and created many chances. The first and second halves were obviously different, partly due to the fact that we were afraid to show our skills and our best qualities early on. At half-time I told the players that if they play with calmness, it will be easier for them to show what they are capable of. That is exactly what happened. Porto are a great team, but we pressed hard in the second half and did not allow them to play at their best. Of course, we had an advantage because Porto had a player sent off at the end of the first half, but we used this well by pressing high up the pitch, creating chances and taking them.

Vítor Pereira, Porto coach
We have to analyse things rationally. With 11 players on the field we were handling the match well, but after [Jorge] Fucile's sending off things got complicated. Kléber also got injured and with Fernando as a right-back, against a strong side, it got difficult and they were very fast on the counterattack. The players fought but Zenit were very strong and took advantage of the space. This was only one match and we are still fighting to qualify, but in next game we have to correct this result.