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Udinese relieved to get off to a winning start

Almen Abdi said Udinese Calcio "rode our luck" as they came back to win their Group I opener against Stade Rennais FC 2-1, the visitors left to regret the hatful of chances they spurned.

Udinese relieved to get off to a winning start
Udinese relieved to get off to a winning start ©UEFA.com

Almen Abdi said Udinese Calcio "rode our luck" to come from behind to beat Stade Rennais FC in their opening UEFA Europa League Group I fixture, while visiting goalkeeper Benoît Costil insisted that "all was no lost" after a creditable performance in their 2-1 defeat.

Almen Abdi, Udinese midfielder
It was a tough game against a strong side and I knew it would be, having played in France at Le Mans. We did ride our luck a bit but we won against a good side and the main thing is we took all three points. We had a bad first half; we need to be more aggressive in the tackle but we improved and psychologically the win is a boost.

For the first goal, I kept my eye on Totò [Antonio Di Natale], who likes to come towards you and then spin away. I was pleased my pass came off and Totò scored such a fantastic goal. We're all delighted with the win because this is a hard group with Rennes, Atlético Madrid and Celtic, so the three points can help us on our way to finishing first or second.

Diego Fabbrini, Udinese forward
It was a really hard match against a team that gave us problems at various stages but we are pleased to get this competition off to such a good start. We gave everything tonight and both sides played open football, which made for a good game, which luckily we managed to win.

It would have been an even better night if the goalkeeper hadn't saved my shot but hopefully I'll have better luck next time. We've still got a long way to go; the competition is difficult and the teams are very good, so we can only take it one game at a time and see where that gets us.

Benoît Costil, Rennes goalkeeper
The overriding feeling is disappointment. We had the match in our hands, we withstood their pressure early in the second half and then we created lots of chances. It was there for the taking but what scuppered us was injuries. We lost Kader Mangane after 15 minutes and then Abdoulrazak Boukari half an hour from the end, which left us down to ten men. They could get the ball and make use of the space; that was very hard on us.

Udinese took their chances and there is a lesson to be learned there. They had about three good chances and scored twice, whereas we had several and scored one, but that's the way it goes. At this high level, you live and learn. All is not lost; we did ourselves credit tonight and played well. We still have three home games, where the atmosphere will be very passionate so, although we got off to a losing start, we didn't play badly, we just missed a few chances and got unlucky with those two injuries.

Jonathan Pitroipa, Rennes midfielder
We're unhappy about the result because we played well. We started well, passed the ball around and created chances. We even took the lead but unfortunately they equalised on the break and then we were playing really well when we went down to ten men and that injury cost us. It's a real shame but we just have to move on.

We had a lot of chances in the second half but unfortunately we weren't able to finish them off. We should have won the match considering the chances we made but that's football and there's no point crying about it. We played very well, worked hard as a team and managed to create lots of chances. We just need to work hard to improve and hopefully next time the goals will come.