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Historic Zenit vintage hit the Spalletti standard

Luciano Spalletti praised his FC Zenit St Petersburg players for achieving "their maximum" goals after securing the draw required at FC Porto to seal the club's first ever passage to the last 16.

Historic Zenit vintage hit the Spalletti standard
Historic Zenit vintage hit the Spalletti standard ©UEFA.com

Vítor Pereira, Porto coach
I am proud of the work we did today. We tried everything to win and we had many chances but just could not score. Zenit defended the result and managed to secure it. We are very disappointed.

The home match against APOEL was decisive for this outcome. Now we must grab the opportunity of the UEFA Europa League. Our fans were great today and I feel that the team deserve their praise. Now we will try to defend our prestige.

Luciano Spalletti, Zenit coach
From my point of view it's not a miracle. I believe that finishing the year at the top of the league and qualifying for Champions League knockout phase was the maximum we could have achieved. The players fully deserve this, they have been doing their best for the whole year.

We knew that Porto would be playing their own game and would go for the win. It is normal that the team that needs to win attacks more, but we had our chances. We had three or four counterattacks but in the end we took poor decisions. Though I admit we could have done better, when you are not used to playing at this level you pay for the lack of experience in the beginning. Danny was not himself tonight but that happens in football. It just shows that we have the potential as a team but we also have the room to improve.

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