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Branislav Ivanovic "This is the Champions League and it was a big lesson for us tonight"

The Zenit captain spoke to the media after the defeat to RB Leipzig.
Branislav Ivanovic "This is the Champions League and it was a big lesson for us tonight"

Branislav, what went wrong today?

You saw for yourself that it was a very difficult match. We did not start as we had planned and the match was physically and mentally difficult. It was difficult to concede at the end of the half. Yes, we lost, but we continue to fight on and we must not give up. We need to think about the next matches, think about what went wrong and try and improve.

You had already played against them in Germany, what did you get wrong over both legs?

I think these two games were completely different. In Leipzig we had a good first half, but conceded in the second. We had chances in both games, but today, unfortunately, we failed to score.

Zenit played four defenders against CSKA and five today against Leipzig what do you prefer?

I think it's great when a team can change things. We expected Leipzig to play two forwards today, so we played as we did. I think our tactics were not a major factor today, Leipzig played very well and scored important goals, goals that gave them confidence.

Were you surprised to be substituted?

I think the thing today is the result. We played with five defenders, so in that situation, we needed to change. Sergei Semak decided to put on a striker and that is right.

It seemed that the Leipzig was really a class above Zenit today, is that true, or could they be beaten?

Of course, we could and should have competed with them. From the first minute they controlled the game. Leipzig dominated the pitch and held on to the ball. We did not pressure them in those areas we planned to. We have to learn, this is the Champions League and it was a big lesson for us tonight.

Were Zenit tired after the match with CSKA Moscow?

I don't think so. I am tired of repeating that in Europe everyone plays with such a fixture list and Leipzig played on the same day and then flew here. We do not have many really difficult games in the Russian Championship so we can’t be tired. Leipzig play every match at a level like today. Fatigue has nothing to do with it.

Have you discussed the incident with Douglas Santos? Was it a penalty?

We have discussed it, but the ref went with VAR. I have not seen the reply. And I do not believe in VAR.