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Bjelica: Witsel red aided Austria Vienna

SoccerNews in UEFA Champions League 1 Oct 2013

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Austria Vienna coach Nenad Bjelica admitted that Axel Witsel’s sending off helped his side claim a 0-0 draw with Zenit St Petersburg.

The Austrian champions picked up a valuable point in the UEFA Champions League Group G encounter.

However, Zenit could count themselves unlucky after a first half in which Hulk hit the post and had another effort beaten away by Heinz Lindner.

The Russians’ hopes were hit just before half-time when Witsel was shown a harsh red card for a sliding challenge on Florian Mader.

And while Bjelica felt that his side were good value for a point, he conceded that their task was made easier by the red-card decision.

“Our performance was good even before Zenit had a player sent off,” he said.

“It clearly got a bit easier for us after that. We were allowed more room in which to operate and started to create chances of our own.

“Unfortunately, we lacked the final pass on a few occasions and we didn’t take advantage of our chances. Our defensive performance was solid though. In the end a 0-0 draw is a fair result.

“The game was fairly balanced and it was obvious that Zenit have a fantastic team. In Hulk and Danny they have players who caused a lot of problems for us. We got lucky on a few occasions.”

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