Luciano Spalletti: We played with confidence

Luciano Spalletti, Zenit’s head coach, said at the after-match press conference in Brussels that anyone can comment on the Anderlecht-Zenit match, and gave general observations about the team’s play of late.

– I think that anybody who watched the match can give their own comments. We deserved to win, and the final score was 3:1. I don’t think we can blame the Anderlecht players for the result: our players showed confidence, they played well and deserved to win.

– What about Shirokov’s injury?
– He"s got problems with his shoulder. He’s had it for some time, but today it came back. Unfortunately, he couldn"t continue the game because of the pain he felt inside.

– Zenit allowed a third goal in a row off a set piece. Is this becoming a rule?
– We’re not a very tall team. We have some difficulties with set pieces. So sometimes we have trouble with teams with big players. Our opponents try to make passes through the air, we try to keep the ball on the ground.

– Sergey Semak played extremely well today. Where did you get the idea to put him at right back?
– That problem appeared because some of our players who can play that position were disqualified. If I need something from the players, I go up to them, and ask them if they’re ready. In this case I didn’t have to do that though. I knew for sure that Sergey would do fine. He’s got a huge skill range, and can play at any position.