Luciano Spalletti: “He who has the last laugh, laughs best”

Zenit’s head coach noted the quality of Zenit’s play despite the club losing for the first time this year in the Russian league. Spalleti also talked about Hubočan's injury and the conflict that took place after the match.

– I think it was good match, an important match, – said Luciano Spalletti after the match. – Both teams played open football, and exchanged attacks. We had a few good chances to score, and Spartak did as well. We were a little naïve in one of the episodes, the opposing team took advantage of that, and they got a result. In my opinion, a tie would have been right. But that doesn’t change anything. I mean that Zenit has all the chances to win first place in the league. Everything is in our hands, and if we don’t win the league, that will only be our fault. I congratulate Spartak with their victory.

– Did it seem to you that Zenit wasn’t ready for the temp that Spartak showed in the second half?

– I can say the same thing about the first half. It was the opposite then. Zenit played better than Spartak.

– Zenit purposely let Spartak take the initiative in the second half?

– We played the match the way we were supposed to. Spartak had nothing to lose. In the second half I put more attacking players on the field. That was our plan – to increase our attack and shoot for a win.

– Did Hubočan's injury have an effect on the match? How important was it to you to go the whole season without losing?

– The match never depends on just one player. The game can only depend on the team as a whole. Luković has all the right characteristics, and he played the way he knows how. His opponent on the field is a really good player, with excellent skills. I’m satisfied with the way Luković played. As for me… it’s not that important to lose a match. The important thing is to win the league. But at the same time, I know that our fans care a lot about matches against Spartak. And here I’m really disappointed that we lost. I know we did everything we could. But I’m most interested in winning the title.

– What happened after the match with Krizanac? And Igor Denisov seemed to start a fight too. Will sanctions be used against them?

– All the conflicts are part of the past. That happens – somebody said something, somebody answered. But he who laughs last, laughs best. Krizanac? That’s part of life. I love my players, I love them more than I love my wife (laughter in the room). If you played for Zenit I would love you too.