Alessandro Schöpf: The win is more important than my first Champions League goal
Having gained eleven points from six games, the Royal Blues are deservedly in the last 16 of the Champions League. Domenico Tedesco underlined how important the 1-0 win was for his side. His Russian counterpart, Juri Sjomin wished Schalke luck for the future. Goalscorer Alessandro Schöpf, debutant Benjamin Goller and returnee Cedric Teuchert all gave their thoughts in the mixed zone.
We are really happy about this win; we wanted it badly. It will do us the world of good and has shown that we deserved to progress from the group. We have put in many good performances; the only poor one was away in Porto. We had a lot of possession in the first half, but didn’t create any real chances. They actually had the best chance towards the end of the half. We weren’t good enough in one-on-one situations – we had a few opportunities on the wings that we should have done better with. In the second half we took more risks to try and break down their defensive style. We pushed forwards, which made it easier for us to pass to our strikers. We won possession back effectively and nipped a lot of counter attacks in the bud. I think we found the away game more difficult, as we struggled to keep Fernandes – who missed out tonight – under control. We had more control of tonight’s game and made more chances. The win in Moscow was a bit lucky, but tonight’s wasn’t.
We have gained a lot of experience from playing in the Champions League. Unfortunately we are out, but Lokomotiv hadn’t played in this competition for 14 years. Perhaps we were lacking that experience. Our Champions League campaign has shown that you have to concentrate right up until the 95th minute. Schalke didn’t let up tonight. They played some good football and deserved to win the game. I wish them the best of luck in the knockout stages.
It is quite special to have scored my first Champions League goal but the victory is more important. The win will give us confidence going into the next Bundesliga game. I thought Guilherme was going to keep hold of the ball for my goal but I gambled and was rewarded.
We also had other good chances earlier to make it 1-0. When you look at the game as a whole, it was a deserved win.
It was a great experience. I have always dreamed of playing in the Champions League. I am obviously delighted. I was incredibly excited before the game but once the whistle went I was fully focused. My teammates encouraged me and told me to go into the game with a clear head and just play my game, which is what I did.
It felt great to be involved again. Every minute spent out there on the pitch helped on my road to recovery. I was out for nearly two months so it will take time to get my performances up to scratch. I feel great right now and I am really pleased to have made my debut in the Champions League. We need to wait and see if I will be involved against Augsburg. I need to now recuperate to be in the best shape possible for Saturday.