Zenit St Petersburg coach Dick Advocaat admitted he was was surprised how well his side played after seeing them thrash Bayern Munich 4-0 to reach their first European final.
The Russian champions overwhelmed Bayern to go through to next month’s final in Manchester 5-1 on aggregate.
“I did not count on the fact that we would play so well,” beamed Advocaat.
“We hardly allowed Bayern to play, which is the biggest compliment I can pay to the team, today was definitely our day.
“It took a lot of energy, but all credit to the team. They played well right from the start even though we were up against one of the best sides in Europe. We were very sharp and we managed to give Bayern almost no space at all.
“Of course, Bayern are still a great side with lots of potential and this makes our victory even better. At the moment, we still can’t be compared with the top European teams, like Chelsea for example. But we are definitely moving in the right direction.
We have great potential and hopefully a bright future. After winning against Villarreal, Marseille, and now Bayern, I think we deserve to win the final as well.”
Bayern boss Ottmar Hitzfeld admitted the result was an embarrassment for the German club.
“This is, of course, a catastrophic result for us,” said Bayern coach Ottmar Hitzfeld.
“We lost our composure instead of keeping our nerve.
“This team has given everything, but today was just not our day. At this level, you have to exploit every error and take every chance. In Europe this season, we have not been as strong as in the Bundesliga.
“I have to give a big compliment to this Zenit team, who played great football and fully deserved to make it to the final. We wish Zenit the best of luck in Manchester. No matter who their opponents are in the final, they are going to be favourites. Any club who win 4-0 against Bayern have to be favourites.”