UEFA.com works better on other browsers
For the best possible experience, we recommend using Chrome, Firefox or Microsoft Edge.

Pellegrini lauds Isco, Spalletti regrets failings

Manuel Pellegrini paid tribute to Isco after the two-goal midfielder helped debutants Málaga CF defeat FC Zenit St Petersburg, for whom Luciano Spalletti rued an "awful" start.

Pellegrini lauds Isco, Spalletti regrets failings
Pellegrini lauds Isco, Spalletti regrets failings ©UEFA.com

Manuel Pellegrini, Málaga coach
It's nice to have given this performance to La Rosaleda. One of our goals is to play in the Champions League and the Liga in the same way. We have improved the defensive balance of the team, but the best thing is the spirit the players have showed despite all we have experienced recently.

The team have 90 minutes in every match to show what they train for. The team always think about putting on a show and trying to win. It was a full house and I am very happy. Isco is a player who has a great future and who is starting a great career; no one knows what his limit is. The important thing is that he is with Málaga.

Luciano Spalletti, Zenit coach
The first 20 minutes were just awful – I still don't know what happened. I need to work it out myself later. We made big mistakes. Perhaps we are not fully ready yet to play in the UEFA Champions League. There are enough strong characters in our team, but something strange was going on when they scored.

I can't say that our physical condition is bad. We had an awful start, at a time when the team weren't tired. We had only four defenders today and one of them, Aleksandar Luković, wasn't feeling good. All in all it was a disaster and we deserve all the criticism in the world for that.

Selected for you