Aleksandr Gutor attributed a relaxed mentality as the reason for FC BATE Borisov's improved display in their 1-1 draw with AC Milan, who rued missed chances despite qualifying from Group H.
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AC Milan are through to the UEFA Champions League round of 16 following their 1-1 Group H draw at FC BATE Borisov, but it was the Belarusian champions who were happiest with the outcome, as they made amends for a 5-0 loss to FC Barcelona in their last European home game, equalising from the spot after Zlatan Ibrahimović had put the visitors ahead.
Aleksandr Gutor, BATE goalkeeper
I am overwhelmed with emotion. We played out a draw with an outstanding club, who have a lot of UEFA Champions League and Serie A trophies under their belt. We managed to relax a bit compared to our previous games and this transformed our game. Of course I might have saved Zlatan Ibrahimović's attempt, but I was not lucky. No shot is impossible to save.Thank God, we did not concede any more goals and I was able to make some crucial saves.
Dmitri Baga, BATE midfielder
With so many fans in the stands, we could not play badly. We had not done everything we wanted in the first half and then understood that it was our last chance to make amends for the defeat by Barcelona. We were asked to play tougher, so we changed our game and pressed harder. As a result my position changed. I played like a winger in the first half and moved to defensive midfield after the break to help to recover the ball.
Aleksandr Volodko, BATE midfielder
It was a very interesting game with a number of goalscoring opportunities at both ends. We had a chance to score a second goal but it was a fair result in the end. We wanted to make amends for defeats in our two previous matches and I think we succeeded.
Massimo Ambrosini, Milan midfielder
We should have killed the game off earlier. We deserved to score at least another goal because we played with great quality and created several chances after taking the lead, especially in the first half.
We hoped that a draw at home against Barcelona would have been enough to finish top of the group, but I think now we have to beat them instead. We really wanted to dedicate a victory to [Milan striker Antonio] Cassano [who is receiving tratement after suffering a suspected stroke]. Unfortunately we did not manage that but we look forward to embracing him when we are back.
Simone Andrea Ganz, Milan forward
It [Ganz's debut] was very exciting; playing in the Champions League is everyone's dream. We should have scored more goals when we dominated in the first half, then BATE equalised and gained confidence. It was more difficult to find space and the coach sent me on hoping that I could create something in attack but unfortunately we did not manage to score again.
In the first half we had several opportunities to score, while in the second BATE played much better and gave us some trouble. I still haven't called my father [former Milan forward Maurizio Ganz] but I look forward to speaking with him about my debut and the game.