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Zenit rue home form after Atlético draw

FC Zenit captain Nicolas Lombaerts feels his side have missed the opportunity to make Stadion Petrovski a fortress after their 1-1 draw with Club Atlético de Madrid.

Zenit rue home form after Atlético draw
Zenit rue home form after Atlético draw ©UEFA.com

Nicolas Lombaerts lamented his side's poor UEFA Champions League home form after a third successive draw at the Stadion Petrovski – 1-1 with Group G winners Club Atlético de Madrid – left FC Zenit's hopes of progress out of their hands. Luciano Spalletti's men dominated possession for long periods but it was the already-qualified visitors who finished stronger.

Man of the match Raúl García hailed his team's defensive performance and believes that, with a bit more luck, the Rojiblancos could have come away with three points. 

Nicolas Lombaerts, Zenit captain
We played a good game and pressed them very high from the start. They didn't create a lot, but unfortunately we couldn't score in the first half. We had around 65% possession and that means a lot against a team like Atlético. We were given an uppercut [conceded a goal], if you can call it that, in the second half. But we scored ourselves and then we got the courage to go for it again and had a few small chances, but couldn't score the second.

It has not just been Atlético who play like that and just drop back and play on the counterattack. Unfortunately they scored a goal and it's a pity because we were playing really well and we were aggressive and I think we deserved more.

We could have won our three home games and that's a pity, but I hope Atlético will do their job at home [against FC Porto] and then we have to win against Austria Wien. 

Igor Smolnikov, Zenit defender
It's a pity we let them open the scoring. We controlled the match in the first half and waited for our chances. We conceded right after the break and went in search of a goal. At least we got a draw. In these kind of matches, it's extremely important to score first. If we had done that, the scenario would be different.

Atlético are Atlético – they are leading the group for a reason. They have good players and play solid football. I don't know why we can't win at home in the UEFA Champions League. We are trying really hard, but something is missing. Talking about our goal, we got really lucky after my cross.

Toby Alderweireld, Atlético defender
I think the game could have gone either way, but we defended very well and unfortunately we got an unlucky goal against us. We had chances to win, but as I said, we defended well and I think 1-1 is a good result here.

It gives us confidence and we have a busy schedule coming up. I think we gave a good performance today, we can be satisfied.

We just have to keep going from game to game and not look too far into the future because everything can be over very quickly. But we will see what happens and we will work hard in the Liga, the Champions League and the Copa del Rey – we will do our best. 

Raúl García, Atlético midfielder
I am happy with the way I played, but I am happier with how the team played. We may have got just one point and we had chances to win, but then again, a point is a point. We were a bit unlucky at times, especially with the goal they scored, so perhaps we deserved to get all three points.

We knew Zenit had to win and would start at a very fast pace, but I think we were very good defensively and that gave us a good platform in order to attack. We created some good chances late in the game and of course Zenit were pushing for a winner as well, but I think we created the better opportunities.