Yury Zhevnov: We weren’t the only ones who were lucky in defense

Zenit’s goalkeeper, who played confidently in the opening match of the Europa League 2010/11 season, talked about his impressions of the match, the referees, and about an unpleasant leg spasm.

– It seems like I had another successful debut, – says Yury Zhevnov. – But, honestly, I’m tired of questions about my debuts – I don’t see any difference between matches for the club at one or another tournament. They’re all the same to me. The Champions League or the Russian Premier League – it’s all the same. I play in all those matches for Zenit, and play 100%. I wouldn’t say that today"s match was extremely difficult: it was just a match, and it turned out to be a good one for us. We had to be more careful in the second half, after we gave up a goal. There were a few more unpleasant moments too. Overall I would say that we played well today and deserved to win. Zenit players are stronger than the Anderlecht ones overall.

– Can we say that the good fortune the team had in the first half on attack came closer to our own goal in the second half?
– I wouldn’t say that it’s a question of fortune. But ya, there were a few times when our opponent didn’t get the ball in an open goal. But we had some great chances too. We couldn"t quite finish them off: either the goalie came out to shut down our plays or something else would happen. So the Belgians were lucky in defense too.

– In the second half there was a moment when everybody thought there would be a second goal, but you made an impossible play. From your point of view was it really indescribable? Or is it a lot simpler than that?
– The Anderlecht player hit a good shot from a free kick. The ball came to me, and I knocked it out. Our fullbacks were standing next to me and kicked it out from the goal. I was lucky to be right where the ball came. But I always think that the strongest players are the luckiest.

– Which of Anderlecht’s forwards were the most dangerous? Lukaku?
– Our players marked him very tightly, but he didn’t do anything out of the ordinary. He’s a strong forward, but nothing more. We played well on him. Anderlecht’s outside fullbacks gave us more trouble. They were moving all the time, trying to cross the ball into our penalty box.

– Do the referees standing in red right next to the goal make it hard for you to concentrate? You probably see them out of the corner of your eye.
– I didn’t see them at all today. They stand there quietly. That"s their job. There supposed to help the referees. So let them work.

– There was an episode in the first half where the team doctor treated you. What happened?
– I got a muscle spasm in my upper hip. I had it right to the end of the match. I didn’t feel very comfortable. The doctors will check it tomorrow. I hope it really was just a spasm.