Wednesday October 3 2012
Spalletti: 'Zenit can qualify'

Zenit Coach Luciano Spalletti insists their Champions League hopes are “not compromised” despite the home defeat to Milan.

Today’s 3-2 result in St Petersburg means that the Russians have lost both their Group E games.

“Tonight Christian Abbiati was really great, as he took two or three shots off the line,” the former Udinese and Roma boss told Sky Sport Italia.

“Our goalkeeper did not have as much work to do. However, we allowed Milan a little too much, so when you’re behind it makes everything more difficult.

“We were able to put things back together, but then we added our own contribution to this defeat. I always look to the potential of my players, but they have to then express them on the field.”

Zenit had fought back valiantly from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 with a goal either side of the half-time break, but late on an own goal sealed their fate.

“Before equalising we deserved something more, then some distractions entered the fray that really cannot be allowed in a competition like this.

“Nonetheless, nothing is compromised and my players had better not think that it is. Of course, it’s difficult now, but we can do it.”