We played an amazing first half, – says Nicolas Lombaerts. – There were excellent connections between lines, and we moved very quickly from defense to the attack. We got three goals as a result. In the second half we controlled the game, and Anderlecht gave us trouble for the most part from free kicks – corner kicks and direct kicks. I’m really happy with the result we got. It was wonderful to play in Belgium. And to win like that was just awesome!
– You often join the attack. Was that a decision of the coaching staff, or did the home Belgian air push you forward?
– No, that was my own decision. I just saw that I can keep the ball pretty well and move forward, and that means that I have to go. You feel that right at the moment when you’re playing. You just say to yourself: “Hmm, maybe I’d better go forward.” And you go. Maybe the air had its effect on me too. It’s always pleasant to come home and play for a team like Zenit.
– What moments were the hardest on the second floor?
– In the second half, from free kicks. Anderlecht has good corner kicks. They scored one goal on us, and Yury Zhevnov saved us from another one. It was hard. We"ve given up three goals in a row from corner kicks in European cup matches. I don’t know how to solve the problem, but we’ll keep looking.
– Was it hard to play between Kerzhakov’s first and second goal? Anderlecht started playing really rough.
– No. We weren’t even afraid. Why should we? That kind of roughness happens on the field sometimes. It’s normal.
– Zenit will play two home matches in a row in the Europa League now. This is a great chance to make it to the second round right off the bat, right?
– Maybe, maybe. We’d like to hope so, but it won"t be easy: Hajduk and AEK are both serious teams with the right approach. But we’re pretty tough too.