Sergey Semak: "I think the result is fair"

The Zenit boss on the draw in France in our opening Champions League encounter.
Sergey Semak: "I think the result is fair"

As always it was a difficult game. We could have won, we could have lost. It’s a shame we conceded the penalty that we were responsible for giving away. I think that for the first match in the Champions League and after a long break, the result is fair.

How often will we see you play with three central defenders?

You won’t see in every match. We knew how strong the Lyon attacking players were and our defence is older and it can be difficult to play against pace. Karavaev and Douglas, were selected for the formation and they played well.

Are you frustrated with a draw and with the penalty?

I think the result is fair. It's a shame that they conceded from the penalty spot. Both us and Lyon had chances and we could found more goals there.

How much did you prepare with the change of formation? Was the game with Sochi a dress rehearsal?

The game with Sochi was played with the players available. We wanted to give everyone the opportunity to play too so they had match practice. We have had no much time to prepare between games. In training we tried, so we made some changes and slightly altered things and tried it tonight.

Why did Shatov replace Karavaev and not Smolnikov? Sutormin was not even on the bench.

Shatov scored in the last game and this was coming. He is gaining form, in the last match he came on and scored. Regarding other players like Sutormin, the reasons were tactical. Plus at the end, we were playing with four defenders. Shatov played on the right of midfield. We switched to our usual formation of two lines of four.

How serious is Azmoun’s injury?

When he felt muscles initially, he was not sure of the degree of injury. During the break, he cooled down and unfortunately felt he could not continue. The injury was enough to stop him continuing the game, but we will find out more tomorrow.

Was Karavaev's start tactical?

Yes, Karavaev is better on the ball, Smolnikov is better defensively. Because we played three central defenders we could choose a more attacking player wide. We had good quality passing down both flanks, but our attacking link-up play could have been better.

Are you going for first place in the group?

We have no illusions and will take each game as it comes. All the matches in front of us are very difficult and the teams are all of equal ability. We will give it our best and let's see what result come.

Were Lyon the better side?

In terms of ball control, yes they were better. In creating chances is was even.