"It was a crazy match but we won," concluded Tranquillo Barnetta after FC Schalke 04 prevailed 2-1 at Olympiacos FC, whose goalscorer Djamel Abdoun was left deflated.
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Player Rater winner Tranquillo Barnetta was glad that FC Schalke 04 came away with three points after a "crazy match" against Olympiacos FC in Piraeus, with Djamel Abdoun bitter that the goal that handed his side a 2-1 Group B defeat came so soon after his equaliser.
Tranquillo Barnetta, Schalke midfielder
We did what we set out to do: win the match. In a very intense atmosphere. We managed to score the opener, then had a very good chance to make it 2-0 but didn't. Afterwards they equalised. We took the lead again almost immediately and then wasted a penalty. It was a crazy match but we won and that's what matters.
For most of the game, we were very solid in defence, apart from the last few minutes when we let them create a couple of chances. That's something we should work on. Had we taken the numerous chances we were presented with earlier, we would have killed off the match with time to spare.
It's still very early in the competition to say what we can achieve. We want to play at a high level consistently and take points. Today we took an important step, but there is still a long way to go to achieve qualification.
Kyriakos Papadopoulos, Schalke defender
It was a great feeling for me to play here. The fans were nice to me and I thank them for that. I am very happy that we won. It was a very important victory and a deserved one, as we were the better team. We performed well in attack and in defence. We got the three points and we'll see what we can achieve in the upcoming matches. It's very early to make predictions, but I hope we can do well in the competition. I am very optimistic about this team, we play good football and I believe in us
Djamel Abdoun, Olympiacos winger
We are disappointed. We could have scored more goals but we didn't. It is a tough night, but we have to focus on our next match as our priority remains the league. We are disappointed because the stadium was full and, given the situation in Greece, we know it's not easy to pack such a venue. We wanted to make our supporters happy.
Straight after our goal, I believe we lost concentration. We should work on that ahead of our next Champions League game at Arsenal, which promises to be very hard. But that's football. A big club like Olympiacos should bounce back from a setback like this. Last season we also lost our first match in the group, but then managed to get our campaign on track and do very well. In football everything is possible. We are not in a group with Real Madrid or Barcelona. If we don't believe in ourselves, we might as well stop competing.
Pablo Contreras, Olympiacos defender
The match didn't go as expected. After setbacks such as this one, we have to bounce back, focus on the weekend match and prepare as best as we can. What we lacked today was presence – the ability to really be in command and dictate play when in possession. We had difficulty doing that against a good team like Schalke. If we had scored one of the few chances we created, we could have won. The Olympiacos defence has changed a lot compared to last season. There is also a new coach. We are striving constantly to improve and be better than last season.