Lombaerts: Defeat no disaster

Zenit have walked away with Group G courtesy of five wins from five

matches, scoring 15 goals and conceding six. But second spot in the

group, and with it a place in the knockout phase of the

competition, is still up for grabs going into the last game on

Thursday. AEK are currently in pole position with seven points from

five games, with Anderlecht three points adrift in third. However,

Anderlecht have a better head-to-head record against AEK and could

therefore still pip them to second courtesy of a win at home to

Hajduk Split and a defeat for AEK. Zenit defender Nicolas Lombaerts

admits a defeat in Athens would not overly concern the Russian

champions, but warned AEK and Anderlecht that they would only have

themselves to blame for not qualifying. “If we do not win, is that

for us the end of the world?” Lombaerts said. “No one should be

angry or say that Zenit has not done their best. “If Anderlecht do

not qualify from this group, they must above all look at

themselves. That we are now the executioner in this group is mainly

due to lower results from our opponents.” Meanwhile, Zenit

goalkeeper Yury Zhevnov has been named the best player from Belarus

in 2010. “That’s important and really nice,” Zhevnov said. “That

means I didn’t work so hard for nothing. I did a lot of work this

season. “The lion’s share of this award probably came thanks to my

good play for the Belarus national team. Our whole national team

played well this year. “I didn’t do so well in my club team,

unfortunately, but I think that practising in Zenit helped me to

play well for the national team, and, as a result, led people to

vote for me for this award.”