Valencia midfielder Andre Gomes believes his team’s refusal to accept a draw at home to Zenit in the Champions League on Wednesday resulted in their 3-2 defeat.
The Spanish side were looking to make a statement of intent in their first Champions League game since the 2012-13 season, but they were ultimately left ruing defensive frailties and a lack of concentration.
A pair of Hulk goals – the second being a trademark screamer – gave Zenit a two-goal lead at the break and, although an Axel Witsel own goal was followed by Gomes’ equaliser in the 73rd minute, the Russian side had the last laugh.
Witsel produced a neat finish from 25 yards just a few minutes later to secure all three points for Zenit, catching Valencia off guard as they desperately sought a winner, according to Gomes.
The Portuguese midfielder told UEFA.com: “Honestly speaking we didn’t perform as we expected to.
“We fought to the end to bring it back but we just couldn’t. We were strong up top, but these things happen.
“We knew we had to take a chance and we wanted to win, we didn’t want to draw and from that came the goal.”
Zenit’s victory saw them end a run of nine games without a win on Spanish soil and striker Artem Dzyuba was relieved to defy the omens on a special night for the Russians.
He said: “It’s nice to end such runs; today was cool – unforgettable atmosphere. [Hearing] the anthem of the Champions League is just a fairytale.”