Roberto Mancini: "The return match will certainly be different"

The Zenit manager summed up the result of RB Leipzig v Zenit in the UEFA Europa League.
Roberto Mancini: "The return match will certainly be different"

I think that for the first 25, maybe 30 minutes, we played well. After that I can’t believe how badly we started playing. We did not deserve the goal we scored, but nevertheless we scored, and this makes the situation a little easier. The return match will certainly be different to this one, we will not be in a situation where we could be losing 2-0. 

What made it possible for Leipzig to get two goals? 

In the first half we looked good defensively. Also we were good in attack, but after the 25th minute we completely lost both in the centre of the pitch and in attack. As we lost out in midfielder and upfront, 2-1 is a good result.

You probably knew that Timo Werner is one of their most dangerous players. Could you have contained him more? 

He is a very good, young, quick player. We knew that he would be dangerous and in the first half we managed to contain him. But in the second half we had only four players playing and so found it very difficult to deal with a player like Timo Werner. 

Did RB Leipzig surprise you? 

No, we knew exactly who we were playing with and how to prepare for them. We were prepared for the game, but faced a problem, in the second half we had only our four defenders playing and no one else. Given this fact, the final score is not so bad.

After the second goal you started applauding, looking towards Rigoni and why did some of the team not appear up for the game?

Concerning Rigoni, I started to applaud just to try and cheer him up, so he would play better. As for not being up for it, I do not agree, all the players took the match seriously. They just disappeared in the second half. A big thanks to Criscito for scoring that terrific goal and giving us a chance of getting to the next round. Because of this I do not think that everything is over for us. 

Can you say why the players did so badly in the second half? 

It is difficult for me to explain this in more detail. Just, as I said, the two central midfielders and the four attacking players were not on the pitch. We were faced with the absence of Paredes. We could not get a player similar to him in this transfer window. Paredes is a player that without which the centre of the team is weakened. We do not have a similar player.