FC Zenit St. Petersburg forward Danny was basking in a memorable debut after scoring the winning goal in the UEFA Super Cup victory against Manchester United FC to earn the Carlsberg Man of the Match award and secure his side's second European trophy in less than four months.
Zenit splashed out a Russian record transfer fee on the Portugal midfielder, paying FC Dinamo Moskva €30m for his services on Monday, and Danny showed what he is capable of in very his first appearance for the club with a fine display at the Stade Louis II. "I'm very happy, the team played very well and we should be congratulated because United are a good team but Zenit played well in attack and defence and I'm very happy today," he said after collecting his prize at the post-match news conference.
With his new side leading 1-0 thanks to Pavel Pogrebnyak's close-range header a minute before half-time, Danny effectively settled the contest 14 minutes into the second half with a fine solo strike. Picking up the ball midway inside the opposing half, the forward turned and exploited the space afforded to him by the United defence to the full, advancing into the penalty area and leaving Rio Ferdinand trailing in his wake before sending Edwin van der Sar the wrong way with a low shot. Despite that moment of individual brilliance, Danny was quick to share the credit, explaining: "I think the whole team played good – the eleven players who started and the substitutes. Everyone worked during the whole game and that's how we won."
It may have been a highly impressive display just four days after signing for a new club, but the Zenit coach Dick Advocaat was typically laconic in his praise for his new signing, saying simply "good start" with a smile as Danny collected his trophy. Despite the hefty fee, the Dutchman expects to see the 25-year-old flourish in St Petersburg, adding: "Danny's a good player. He had a clause in his contract and it's a lot of money but he's a very good footballer. Everybody could see that tonight."
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