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Toulalan: Monaco proved themselves with win

Jérémy Toulalan thinks AS Monaco FC can take confidence from their opening 1-0 defeat of Bayer 04 Leverkusen, who Stefan Keissling says "can only blame ourselves".

Toulalan: Monaco proved themselves with win
Toulalan: Monaco proved themselves with win ©UEFA.com

Jérémy Toulalan says Monaco "deserved" their opening 1-0 win against Leverkusen
Leonardo Jardim glad his players carried out his instructions and were rewarded
Stefan Keissling says Leverkusen "can only blame ourselves"
Roger Schmidt frustrated that Leverkusen did not take their chances

Jérémy Toulalan, Monaco midfielder
When we start a match, and particularly in the Champions League, we want to win it. Even if we're in a difficult situation in the league, we know the Champions League is a different competition and we went for the win.

In the first half, we had a few difficulties, you could say, and they had some chances that they didn't put away. But in the second half, we scored – I think it was deserved – and even at the end I think we finished better than they did. We managed to find a little more confidence and there were some good passages of play.

When we played Lyon, it was a little bit the same match. We had a lot of chances in the first half. We didn't take them and in the end we were beaten. This evening it was to our advantage. The squad has quality. Just a bit of confidence is needed. I hope this match is going to serve us well for the rest of the competition and the league games to come.

We know that it's very important to start well. But as I have said from the start, the group is quite open. So everyone has a chance of going through. We have the advantage of having won this first game, but nothing has been decided. As I said, it has just allowed us to have a bit more confidence in ourselves this evening.

©AFP/Getty Images

Leonardo Jardim, Monaco coach
It was important to win for various reasons – to give confidence to my players, to show that our work can be rewarded and that we are progressing. Our physical conditioning is at a high level and we showed it in the second half. We were superior to our opponents.

I told them to pass the ball quickly and put pressure on our opponents, which they did very well. I think that Bernardo Silva's introduction was an asset for us. My team played better in second half. We had the ball more and our opponents were not as well balanced.

Stefan Keissling, Leverkusen forward
We can only blame ourselves. We weren't in the game at all in the second half. We were much the better side in the first half. We made a lot of chances and easily should have scored two, three goals.

We need to be more clinical, more determined to score goals. We saw that also in the last Bundesliga game. We should have killed the game off in the first half. It shouldn't happen at the highest level.

Of course, but we're now under pressure again, because we don't have many games left in the Champions League to qualify from the group phase. It would have been great to have taken something from this away game, but now we'll have to play a home game under pressure.

Roger Schmidt, Leverkusen coach
First I would like to congratulate Monaco on their win. We had chances in the first half but could not score. It's a shame. In the second half they played better and we conceded from a lack of focus. But Monaco have good players, we could see it. They have good qualities. I am satisfied with my players.

We had nine chances in the first half. Monaco were more motivated in the second half, we lost a bit of our structure and discipline after the goal but I am satisfied with the team. Monaco took advantage of our loss of shape. It is difficult to explain why we did not score in the first half, maybe not enough focus.

It is always good to start with a win but it is only the first matchday and our objective is still to finish in the top two. Creating a lot of chances does not guarantee you will win, we saw it this evening. That is football.