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Roberto Mancini: Zenit St Petersburg "played better than Celtic"

Zenit St Petersburg boss Roberto Mancini insists that his side "played better than Celtic" in their Europa League last-32 second leg at the Krestovsky Stadium.

Zenit St Petersburg manager Roberto Mancini has stated that his side "played better than Celtic" in their Europa League last-32 second leg at the Krestovsky Stadium.

The Hoops led 1-0 from the first leg at Parkhead but were lacklustre in Russia as Branislav Ivanovic, Daler Kuzyaev and Aleksandr Kokorin turned the tie round in the hosts' favour.

Mancini was pleased with Zenit's display in Saint Petersburg as they sealed a 3-0 win on the night and a 3-1 aggregate victory, and blamed the first-leg defeat on not having played for two months given the Russian Premier League's lengthy winter break.

"We played better than Celtic," the former Manchester City boss told reporters. "I think we played good game in Glasgow, but it was the first game after the winter break.

"The games were different for this reason. We were so tired after 70 minutes, but that is normal.

"I don't feel that we can win because there are many strong teams and we are a young team."

Zenit return to action on March 3 with a league home game against Amkar Perm.

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A chilled-out Roberto Mancini has a chinwag on the old rag and bone during the Serie A game between Lazio and Sampdoria on May 7, 2017
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