FC Zenit captain Danny credited coach André Villas-Boas for the 2-0 defeat of a Torino FC side who felt they were up against "one of the best teams in Europe".
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• Danny credits coach André Villas-Boas for Zenit's 2-0 defeat of Torino
• Axel Witsel rues Zenit's failure to maintain their standard after half-time
• Torino defender Cristian Molinaro: "They are one of the best teams in Europe"
• The second leg is next Thursday in Italy, with the quarter-final draw the following day
Danny, Zenit captain
We're happy because we played really well. We played against an Italian team and everybody knows how strong they are in defence. However, the coach knew what we needed to do. We needed to pass the ball quicker, move it from side to side. We did that and were very lucky that they were left with ten men. It made things easier for us. Maybe we needed to do better, but 2-0 is good. Of course it is not finished – we will go to Italy to play a good game and win.
Axel Witsel, Zenit midfielder
The game was a little bit difficult because Torino were stronger in 50-50 situations. We knew they were a good team that plays 3-5-2, which made it harder for us to press. We started really strongly and did not concede, which was the most important thing. In the second half, we were too relaxed up front, that's true. We should have maintained the same level as in the first half.
Yuri Lodygin, Zenit goalkeeper
They are a difficult team to play against in a football sense – that's their style. They keep things very tight; they're always back defending in time and always focused. Saying that, I hardly remember a shot on my goal. After their red card, we had an advantage and we managed to exploit it in the right way. We probably could have made it 3-0. We have one foot [in the quarter-finals], now we have to put the second one there too. We need to go there, keep a clean sheet, win and go through in style.
Cristian Molinaro, Torino defender
The match was level before the red card; after that, Zenit controlled the game. 2-0 is not a good result, but we have the second leg to play. We will try to gain revenge. They are the best team in Russia at the moment and one of the best in Europe. Still, even with ten against 11, we tried to attack and had some opportunities. We have a lot of respect for Zenit but we can compete against them.