Zenit suffered from 1-0 lost to Torino in the second leg of their Europa League las-16 tie, but such a good luck that they are still made it to the quarter-finals with 2-1 aggregate victory.
It is such a big achievement for the Russians, since it is the time when they reached the last eight of a European competition for the first time since 2008, the year they won the old UEFA Cup.
The 2-0 victory in the home leg proved decisive as Villas-Boas’ men moved through 2-1 on aggregate. However there was a nervous moment when Fabio Quagilarella showed his skill to clear off the line in stoppage line after Kamil Glik’s opener in the 90th minute.
Amongst the euphoria, Zenit coach, Andre Villas Boas has apologized for a touchline row with the Torino bench on their match on Thursday, after Zenit edged past the Serie A side to reach the Europa League quarter-finals. The former Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur coach was involved in an angry argument with the Torino bench at a full time. He directly moved to apologize after the game.
“I lost my head,” admitted Villas Boas. “I got it completely wrong and I apologize for my behavior. I am angry with the Torino team manager, but it was not the behavior of a coach and I am sorry.”
Talking about the game, the coach said that it was not that he wanted, it was not his intention to see his side play so defensive to hold on to their first-leg lead. “Torino’s pressing was more effective than in Russia and we were forced to play long balls from the goalkeeper,” admit Villas Boas. He insists that Torino pressed his men very well and never let us play effective football; “they puched really hard.”
And it seems that the red card given during the game to Marco Benassi modified Torino’s game-plan, taking away a striker to the counter attack. Villas Boas could not take the fact that the team should struggle to make their way to European League quarter final with 10 men.
“If we had scored another goal, we’d be more relaxed going to Turin for the second leg. In my career I have won a game 3-0 for Tottenham against Inter and suffered like mad in the second leg,” he added.
On the other hand. Torino coach Giampiero Ventura said that the red card received by Benassi early in the first-leg game in Russia had proven decisive to the tie’s outcome. But even the club could not do anything with referee’s decision, and Zenit’s coach behavior should not be happened during the game.