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Tymoshchuk hoping for Zenit miracle

Anatoliy Tymoshchuk knows FC Zenit's chances of reaching the quarter-finals for the first time in their history are slim, but says "strange things can happen in football".

Tymoshchuk hoping for Zenit miracle
Tymoshchuk hoping for Zenit miracle ©UEFA.com

FC Zenit midfielder Anatoliy Tymoshchuk believes his side need "a miracle" in three weeks' time if they are to progress to the quarter-finals of the UEFA Champions League, following their 4-2 first-leg home defeat by Borussia Dortmund. Zenit were their own worst enemies in the round of 16 opener as sloppy defending allowed the visitors to move into a 2-0 lead after just five minutes. Fellow midfielder Axel Witsel added: "The game could have been very different if we did not concede those two goals."

Anatoliy Tymoshchuk, Zenit Midfielder
We did not get going from the first minute and were punished for that. After five minutes we were trailing 2-0 and to play with that handicap against a team like them [Dortmund] is very difficult. We tried to get back into the game and created chances. We scored two goals but they replied almost immediately. They were very good at making us pay for our mistakes.

We had been training for a month, but of course Dortmund were physically better because they have been playing competitively in their domestic league. They are battling to qualify for the UEFA Champions League as the title race [in Germany] is all but over. Of course it is disappointing to lose the match, but we need to make sure we prepare well for the return leg and try to win.

There will always be mistakes, but we need to work as a team and help each other. Dortmund also made mistakes, but I think they were better at capitalising on ours.

It was difficult when the score was 2-0, but at 3-2 we believed we had a chance as we would have needed to win 2-0 away. Unfortunately, we conceded again as we tried to go forward. We have to go to Dortmund and try to win 3-0. Strange things can happen in football and we will be hoping for a miracle.

Axel Witsel, Zenit midfielder
I think when you concede two goals in four or five minutes, it is very difficult to come back. When it is 0-0 it is still a difficult game and they are a good team. We conceded two goals inside five minutes and to come back and score was very, very difficult.

They are very good players, but if we did not concede those two goals then the game is very different. Now it will be very difficult in Dortmund as we need to win 3-0. Everything can happen in football but it is going to be very, very difficult.