FC Basel 1893's craft and guile impressed Serey Die and Fabian Schär in the 2-0 win over FC Zenit St Petersburg, who need to improve in the return according to Nicolas Lombaerts.
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Impressed by the style of their 2-0 victory over FC Zenit St Petersburg as well as the substance, Serey Die told UEFA.com that FC Basel 1893 must "keep our feet on the ground" in order to seal a place in the UEFA Europa League quarter-finals. Fabian Schär joined him in emphasising the importance of a strong defence and an equally determined display in the second leg. Meanwhile, Zenit's Nicolas Lombaerts had no complaints about the result and looked for improvements back in Russia after his side lost to Marcelo Díaz's goal and Alexander Frei's added-time penalty at St. Jakob-Park.
Serey Die, Basel midfielder
What we did today was physically impressive – our speed and athleticism – but we need to stay cool. We need to keep our feet on the ground because we are not through yet. As we have seen tonight, we are a team that are able to be very focused on a game. I have very good and very professional team-mates and it is an honour and a gift to play for this club.
Fabian Schär, Basel defender
There is no doubt it was a brilliant performance from us, mainly in the first half when we applied a lot of pressure – we had some brilliant moves and a lot of chances but we didn't score. The performances of players like [Mohamed] Salah and Díaz were at a very high level. Again, we defended very well and it's impressive that we didn't concede a goal for the ninth home match, but there's still a terribly difficult away game to come. Zenit have excellent forwards and we will have to play at least as well as tonight to get through. Against Dnipro, we proved we can hold our own so our chances [to progress] are not that bad.
Nicolas Lombaerts, Zenit defender
I think we played a poor game, gave away a lot of space and allowed them to create a lot of opportunities. It was surprising that we kept the game 0-0 for as long as we did. Next week we need to be sharper – we need to win more battles. We gave away too many balls and the most important thing will be to give 100%.
Luís Neto, Zenit defender
We had everything under control in the second half, but unfortunately we conceded that first goal and then a second one, which resulted from a mistake. Now we have to focus on our domestic league again, and after that the match at home to Basel. I think Basel played very well in the first half, while we didn't get the chance to create much and play our game. That is down to their efforts, and now we have to pick our heads up and think about the next match. I think we still have a chance. If all the players are fit, we still have a chance.