Lars Bender: 'Bayer Leverkusen deserved to beat Zenit St Petersburg'

Greek defender Kyriakos Papadopolous celebrates scoring with his team-mates Stefan Kiessling and Brazilian defender Wendell during the first leg UEFA Champions League Group C football match Bayer 04 Leverkusen vs FC Zenit St Petersburg, in Leverkusen, wes
© Getty Images
Lars Bender says that Bayer Leverkusen's 2-0 Champions League win over Zenit St Petersburg was fully deserved.

Lars Bender has praised his Bayer Leverkusen teammates and believes that they were worthy winners in Wednesday night's 2-0 Champions League win at home to Zenit St Petersburg.

After a frustrating first half in which neither side created much, the hosts moved ahead on 58 minutes through Giulio Donati, before Kyriakos Papadopoulos doubled the lead shortly after.

Manager Roger Schmidt watched his defence restrict the Russians to very few chances, and Bender - captain in the absence of Simon Rolfes - says that the win was fully deserved.

"Today we have been very disciplined right from the start," he told reporters. "It was a very tough game. But in the end, we really deserved the win."

Consequently, Schmidt's side move top of Group C on six points, one ahead of both AS Monaco and Zenit.

Leverkusen's Italian defender Giulio Donati and Zenit's Italian defender Domenico Criscito vie for the ball during the first leg UEFA Champions League Group C football match Bayer 04 Leverkusen vs FC Zenit St Petersburg, in Leverkusen, western Germany on
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