Leonardo Zardim post-match comments
Read the statement by Olympiacos’ Portuguese-originated coach in the post-match press conference against Montpellier.
Have you realized what happened tonight? Because it will take time for many to understand…
“It was just another Champions League match. In the first half, there was huge tension, but poor quality with respect to ball circulation. In the second half, we conceded a goal right after the kick-off and that helped us wake up. Our opponent paid for the fact that they exercised huge pressure on us in the first half and, thus, we managed to score twice in the second. At the end of the second half, we had the clearest scoring opportunity”.
Apart from Montpellier’s goal that woke up your players, what has actually changed that brought about the victorious comeback and boosting your psychology for the next fixtures?
“What has changed was that we always try to impose our style of play, but Montpellier was also playing. In the first half, Montpellier came up really strong on us, which wasn’t the case in the second half. We improved our ball circulation; regained control of the match that was topped by the decrease in our opponent’s performance and the rise of our quality. Tonight’s was a well-deserved win because at no point have we given up. We wanted to regain control”.
Schalke 7 points, Arsenal 6 points, Olympiacos 3 and Montpellier 1. What is the message you would like to send to the fans in view of the..2nd leg against Montpellier, as well as the day after in the tournament? Is qualifying to next stage in Champions League still your objective, given the advantage of Schalke.
“Even before the start of tonight’s match, I have said in many occasions that if we won, than we would keep fighting for our target, i.e. qualifying in Champions League. We are halfway the tournament, there are two home matches left and one away match. We will fight to qualify”.
You said before that the victory was well-deserved. Have you realized that Montpellier ruled the pitch for 70 and that Olympiacos performed only during the last minutes from time? (question from French journalist)
“I don’t think Montpellier was superior for 70 minutes. It was 50 minutes. Once they scored, we woke up and started to take up more space. We had a great chance with David, which was the best chance of the second half. A football match lasts 90 minutes. Since we managed to improve ourselves, we made it and recorded a very important victory”.