Jurgen Klopp praised Zenit St. Petersburg for battling to a 2-1 win at Borussia Dortmund’s Signal Iduna Park on Wednesday, although the result was not enough to turn around the 4-2 deficit the Russian club carried into the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 second-leg game. As a result, Dortmund joined Manchester United as the last two teams to qualify for the competition’s quarterfinals.
“Different factors saw us struggle a bit today,” BVB coach Klopp said after the home loss. “We made a tactical mistake for the first goal we conceded, but you can never rule out a goal by a great player like Hulk. He's difficult to defend against.” Indeed, Hulk’s brilliant run and shot from nearly 30 yards was the highlight of the game after just 16 minutes. However, in the end, Klopp said: “My lads deserve to be in the quarterfinals because they always fight like wolves. We have qualified for the next round where we will meet the creme de la creme of European soccer.”
Sergei Semak, Zenit’s interim coach before Andre Villas-Boas takes over on Thursday, said: “Of course, it is always very nice to win. If we could only have played a bit better at home and achieved a better result, with such a display today we would have had a chance to qualify. It is a real shame.”