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BATE jubilation at Athletic scalp

FC BATE Borisov reflected on "a victory we needed" according to coach Aleksandr Yermakovich, while Ernesto Valverde admitted Athletic Club are at a low ebb.

BATE jubilation at Athletic scalp
BATE jubilation at Athletic scalp ©AFP/Getty Images

BATE bounce back from 6-0 opening loss to beat Athletic in Belarus
Aleksandr Yermakovich says Belarusian champions "wanted to make amends"
Ernesto Valverde says both "display and attitude" give cause for concern
Goalscorer Aleksandr Karnitski: "We had crazy desire, fire in our eyes" 
Athletic players acknowledge BATE's superiority and deserved win

Aleksandr Yermakovich, BATE coach
We have only positive emotions. We are very happy with today's victory as we needed it very much. We wanted to make our supporters happy and make amends for that Porto loss. We had a bad record against Spanish teams, so we are also pleased to improve that.

We prepare for each opponent very carefully. I chose the best starting XI for this match – only the best and strongest started the game. We hoped to shut down Athletic on the flanks as they are strong there and we managed that. We're thankful to our fans for their great support. When we're together with them, we're unbeatable.

Ernesto Valverde, Athletic coach
It's easy to explain: BATE was more composed, self-assured, while we couldn't start well. Previously I wasn't happy with our displays, but I was OK with our attitude. Now I'm concerned with both. We still have chances to progress out of the group, but it's impossible with a display like this.

This is a bad period for us. We couldn't start strongly enough, while BATE did, but it is our bad form that stopped us playing with the intensity needed. We were outpowered in an area that was our strength – a powerful start. I'm disappointed. Just like every Athletic fan since we're used to seeing a different team and it's the coach who's responsible for this in the end. We weren't ourselves.

I wasn't expecting BATE to react so strongly after the loss at Porto. I can only congratulate them.They were stronger, especially in the tackle – we just didn't get going. They took the initiative and they made us pay when we lost the ball. What's happening now is tough to take and we know we have to improve.

Aleksandr Karnitski, BATE midfielder
It was a real battle. Both teams played an open game, nobody tried to close it – it was attack after attack. We turned out to be stronger, so perhaps we wanted it more. I think we did it because of our crazy desire; we had fire in our eyes. We wanted to rehabilitate ourselves after the defeat by Porto. So the boys gave 100, even 120%.

[For the goal] I collected a pass on the edge of the box. With my left foot I shot without thinking and it went in. If I am not mistaken, I was also helped by a deflection, which foxed the goalkeeper, and everything turned out well. I think my best games are still ahead of me, so I'd rather not call this the best one.

Athletic coach Ernesto Valverde reacts
Athletic coach Ernesto Valverde reacts©AFP/Getty Images

Iker Muniain, Athletic forward
We need to be realistic; we didn't play well. They were better than us. We tried to improve in the second half. We weren't influenced by the 6-0, we knew they'd played some top football here against some difficult opponents. Now we must fight and work hard as we have been doing. We're not enjoying the best of times. We have a league game, then the international break and we have to recharge our batteries to reverse this.

Gorka Iraizoz, Athletic goalkeeper
We knew it would be a tough, physical match. Clearly we were not at the right level. We did not play as we have on other occasions, although we knew how important it was. If you're not 100% you make it hard for yourself. This is the Champions League and every team is strong, even more so at home, and that is more or less what happened.

[BATE] were better than us. They won every aerial battle, they won every second ball. We did not pressure them well. They were able to attack with their usual fluidity and created chances. They also caused us many problems with long balls, and at no point did we know how to counteract that type of game. In the second half we showed a bit more heart and pushed further up the field looking to get an equaliser, but we were unable to convert our chances. We left ourselves more open at the back and that allowed them to have more chances too.