Philippe Clement: “Pity we couldn't celebrate this one with our fans"

A five star performance by Club Brugge resulted in a well-deserved 3-0 win against Zenit. Blue & Black never really got into trouble, winning its first home CL game since 2005. A proud Philippe Clement addressed the press.

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“The perfect game? There's no such thing as perfection, but I'm really happy with a lot of things. First of all with our level of efficiency; winning 3-0 in the Champions League is a fine feat. To boot, I'm happy with the compact way of playing and the solid circulation. I want to see a dominant team, eager to claim the ball and going for it 100%. And that's what they showed today. I put the win in Zenit higher than the two titles with Genk and Club. It's hard to compare with this game, but today's performance was even better than the one at Zenit. A pity, though, that no fans were able to watch it here. I know what it's like, having beaten Galatasaray 3-1, with the stands ablaze. That wasn't the case today, and that's very unfortunate.”

Philippe Clement
Philippe Clement

Charles De Ketelaere started out in the centre of attack in a role he fulfilled to a tee. The young player put Club in front, and lured Zenit into conceding a spot kick. “Charles has played a pivotal role in this Champions League campaign. He was very imporant at Zenit as our second forward, in Dortmund he did really well at left back, and today also as a lone forward. He has shown he can decide a game, but there are still some working points. It would be easy to allow a player like that playing time in every game, but it's also a matter of allowing him some rest at times. That's a responsibility that befalls me. Big talents tend to surface often, but they tend to get washed out soon too. The fun thing about Charles is that he's such an intelligent guy, who understands everything. It's a soli collaboration.”

 

The win against Zenit and Lazio's draw at Dortmund mean Club still stands a chance of making it to the Champions League Round of 16. The quick succession of fixtures will probably force Club's T1 to bench some players against STVV over the weekend. “It's a tricky tradeoff. As always, we'll be taking a closer look to the players' values, to make sure they come out of this game fine. But it's not Lazio that I focus on solely, as we also need to boost our level in the league. I hope the players will take the boost after this game to the game over the weekend.”

 

Seven points so far in the Champions League is a fine report so far, and who knows more is to come next week. “What really pleased me was the joy my players had, as well as the staff, the board and the fans. With those fireworks by the end of the game, the fans showed they were also present. Next week, we'll be giving it everything we've got, without calculating. We had a head full  of dreams as we headed for Madrid last season, and we came close to winning. We also dreamt of good things at Paris, and if that penalty would've gone in, we could have claimed that win. It's with a suitcase full of dreams that we'll be boarding the plane for Rome too next week, and try and cause an upset there. We've got nothing to lose.” (SF)

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