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Sergey Semak: “Defeats happen to everyone”

The head coach of blue-white-sky blues spoke to the media after the match against Sochi. 
Sergey Semak: “Defeats happen to everyone”
It was a difficult match for us. We started not so confidently and allowed our opponent the chance to counterattack two or three times. Then we played fine, of course, it wasn’t our best game, but we were able to score having a man less. The crucial point was the goal we conceded that we were ourselves responsible for. After that we had to take risks. The opponent had free space and both teams had their chances. But we conceded the second goal and weren’t able to score. Defeats happen to everyone. But it’s fine, we will be preparing for the next game. 

Today you came back to the formation with four defenders. Was it because of the injury of Claudinho or because of something else?

Yes, Claudinho understands the position in that formation correctly and today we really needed a player like him. So we gave the chance to our pair of forwards, we decided to try it this way, because Sardar is in good shape. 

Could you comment on Azmoun's sending off?

About the goal, I don’t think Sardar stopped the goalkeeper from saving the goal. When the contact happened, the ball was already moving towards the net. There is so much talk about referees in our league, so let’s either say either something good or nothing at all. Let the ones who are qualified in this deal with this situation. 

Do you think that even if the decision to send Azmoun off was made, the goal should’ve been allowed? And also: Kritciuk made a mistake that turned the game upside down. Do you think that there is a problem with Stanislav’s game? 

Regarding  the conceded goal,  we will be reviewing it. If the goalkeeper is playing and shouting “mine!”, then the defender should let him have the ball. Why Chistyakov didn’t do that, we will find out. Playing off his line, Stas was trying to be positive and help the team, but this isn’t always successful. About this goal incident, there are two possible ways: either the goalkeeper plays it and the defender should let him have the ball. Or the defender didn’t hear what the goalkeeper was shouting to him, that's a different story. 

But should your goal have been allowed? 

Sardar wasn’t in the way of the goalkeeper and at the moment of contact the ball was moving towards the net. If there was a foul in the moment, it was an accident. The contact was minimal, Azmoun was moving the leg away. Regarding the decisions of the referees, there are always many questionable moments with them, it’s not my job to point them out, let other people do that. 

From the stands it seemed like in the second half Zenit slowly started playing deeper more and more. Wouldn’t it have made more sense to make the substitutions earlier? 

We had these thoughts, but before we conceded the first goal they didn’t have any chances and our players were doing their job well. We made the changes when there was a need to play more attacking, we tried to freshen up the game

What are your thoughts about the sayings Sochi is Zenit's farm club?

People who say this don’t want to understand and hear anything. And I absolutely don’t care what they’re saying.