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The reactions of Mohammed Salisu and Denis Zakaria after the win at the Stade Bollaert

The reactions of Mohammed Salisu and Denis Zakaria after the win at the Stade Bollaert

Obviously satisfied with an important victory away to RC Lens after an incredible match (2-3), the Monegasque defender and midfielder expressed their joy in the mixed zone.

They did it ! In a period that’s been marked by ups and downs in the team’s performances, and despite the pressure of facing a direct competitor in the table, the AS Monaco players brought back a win full of character from Lens (2-3). It was a moment of liberation at the end of a suspensful match, and one that Mohammed Salisu adn Denis Zakaria looked back on in the mixed zone. 🎙️

Hello Mohammed. It was difficult today, but it’s a great victory against Lens…

Yes indeed, from the start we felt that it was not an easy match. Despite everything, we managed to win these three points by fighting at every moment on the pitch. It’s not so easy to come and score three goals here at the Stade Bollaert-Delelis, especially since the atmosphere was incredible. But in the end we won an important victory, so it’s great for the team!

It’s also good for the team to see that we are able to defend well together. It's football, we can't always be in control for 90 minutes. But the most important thing in the end is to win, and now we are already focused on the next match.

What is your view of the first and second half?

We were doing well, playing our match in the first half. When we returned from the locker room, we struggled more, while trying to maintain our lead despite Lens dominating possession. But it’s also good for the team to see that we are able to defend well together.

It’s football, we can’t always be in control for 90 minutes. But the most important thing in the end is to win, and now we are already focused on the next match.

A word on Takumi Minamino who had a fantastic match…

It’s true that he had a great match! I’m really happy for him, because he really helped the team, especially with this second goal which gave us the victory. It’s great for him and for the whole squad.

Once again in the second half we struggled a lot, but we knew we were going to have a chance to score again. So when Taki’ scored the third goal, I knew it was over!

The return of Wilfried Singo also helped in defense…

It’s obvious that he does us a lot of good when he’s there, we see the difference. He had a great match, and I hope he can continue to help us for the rest of the season.

Did you feel a kind of release when the final whistle blew?

Yes I must admit it. Takumi’s goal did us a lot of good, especially since we had just missed a penalty. And I repeat, it’s very difficult to score in this stadium, so when Taki’ did, everyone exploded in the away end

Are you already focused on the second big match against Paris?

We now have a second big match at home. We will have to fight to get the victory, because we need it. We will be focused on having a great match.

We knew that it is very difficult to dominate here in Lens with the pressure, to have the ball for 90 minutes. We were prepared to struggle during the match, and that was the case. We held on well despite these two goals, but we knew how to react, I insist, and that is the most important thing.

The reaction of Denis Zakaria

Hello Denis. How did you experience this spectacular match?

It’s true that it was a very tough match, but we are super happy with this victory, especially since it’s never easy to come and win here in Lens. So we are very happy to come away with the three points.

What were your feelings during the match?

It was a bit of an emotional lift, because we quickly led 2-0, but we conceded a goal very shortly thereafter. I think at 2-0 at half-time the match would have been easier. Then we knew that in the second half they were going to push a lot with the fans behind them. That’s what they did, even though we held out for a long time. After the goal they managed to score, we were able to react in turn to win.

How did you deal with the pressure from the fans?

Once again we knew that it is very difficult to dominate here in Lens with the pressure, to have the ball for 90 minutes. We were prepared to struggle during the match, and that was the case. We held on well despite these two goals, but we knew how to react, I insist, and that is the most important thing.

The third goal freed you in the end…

I wouldn’t call it a miracle, because we had this penalty just before. It’s true that we didn’t manage to put our game in place like in the first half, but in a match like this you also have to know how to defend and work hard. Then you have to take the slightest chance and put it away.

Tell us about the match by Takumi Minamino

Honestly, he had an incredible match, delivering a great performance! With his two goals, he helped us a lot, but he also did a great job defensively to relieve us. It’s truly a huge performance from him.

Is it frustrating to have conceded these two goals?

It’s true that we are a team that usually plays more with pressure, we are less used to playing in a low block. This is a point that we certainly need to work on, to be more secure at the back. At the start of the season we got people used to taking three points, and at the moment it’s more difficult.

I think we made too many individual errors, which cost us five goals. We will therefore have to be very concentrated, because against PSG, every mistake is paid for heavily.

It was all the more important for us to take the three points, and now we will turn our attention to this crucial match against Paris. We will try to prepare well for this match, and to have a little more continuity for the rest of the season.

Exactly, how can we do better than in the reverse fixture and the defeat at the Parc?

We conceded five goals in Paris, while having a good match, in my opinion. I think we made too many individual errors, which cost us five goals. We will therefore have to be very concentrated, because against PSG, every mistake is paid for heavily.

Every player in Ligue 1 wants to play against this team, because it is the biggest match of the season, against great players with great qualities. It’s an opportunity to show what we’re worth!

A last word on the performance of Radoslaw Majecki

Radeck had some very big matches in the Coupe de France, so it was deserved for him to play this match. We were happy for him, especially since he had a very big match.