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Zenit showing boosts Advocaat belief

Coach Dick Advocaat is looking forward to a new adventure in the UEFA Champions League group stage after FC Zenit St. Petersburg became the first Russian club to claim the UEFA Super Cup trophy at Stade Louis II.

Pavel Pogrebnyak opened the scoring for Zenit
Pavel Pogrebnyak opened the scoring for Zenit ©Getty Images

Dick Advocaat is looking forward to leading FC Zenit St. Petersburg into the UEFA Champions League for the first time after his side underscored their credentials yet again by defeating Manchester United FC 2-1 to win the UEFA Super Cup in Monaco. Goals from Pavel Pogrebnyak and debutant Danny proved enough for Zenit to become the first Russian club to claim this title, and leave Sir Alex Ferguson – who had Paul Scholes sent off as his team were chasing the game late on – looking to make amends when United return to Europe next month.

Dick Advocaat, FC Zenit St. Petersburg coach
I think if you see the chances we created it was a deserved win. The start was a bit difficult as for 15 minutes we had some problems with the movement of the strikers. From a certain moment we started controlling things and creating chances, although we didn't score enough. In the second half when the second central defender went off, we became more dangerous. Overall it was a well-deserved win over the 90 minutes.

I think it is not an easy draw but we did really well in the UEFA Cup so why not in the Champions League? Tonight we gave a warning so people can know what to expect. But the Champions League is different to tonight which in principle was a friendly match, but an important one of course. I have a squad I'm happy with, we still have a good bench, so there's no need to buy more players – as long as everybody stays. We have spent net €25m this summer which is peanuts compared to the big clubs in Europe.

Sir Alex Ferguson, Manchester United FC manager
I think you can't deny that Zenit deserved to win the game. They probably shaded it from us, although there was not much in it. We played better at 2-0 down, created more good chances, and when we scored there was still plenty of time to recover and get back into it. The sending off was unfortunate, it was an instinctive thing, but as he'd already been booked it meant he had to go. We looked pretty strong at that point. It was a good open game, the teams put in a lot of work on a hot night. I'd like to congratulate St Petersburg on their victory.

I think in tight games whoever scores the first goal is in a good position and us losing it on the stroke of half-time was bad for us; it was a soft goal too. I thought we controlled possession in the first half and made the best chances but three times in the opening 20 minutes they got to the byline and that was a concern. I was looking forward to half-time so we could eradicate that which we did in the second half. [The Champions League draw] adds a bit of spice because of myself going back to Glasgow. For me looking at the group, it's one we can progress from. We should be OK in terms of qualifying. With the progress this team is making you'd expect us to have a good chance of progressing.