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The Italian coach remains optimistic about his side's chances to accompany the already qualified Malaga to the next round of Europe's elite club competition

Luciano Spalletti believes that Zenit St Petersburg can still reach the knockout stages of the Champions League.

The Russian champions dropped to last place in Group C following their 1-0 away loss against Anderlecht on Tuesday, but their coach has not given up hopes of making it to the next round just yet.

"We are in a tough position in the group now, but taking into account the result in Milan [a 1-1 draw with Malaga], we still have a chance. If we win the last two matches we might still qualify," Spalletti was quoted as saying on the official UEFA website.

He added, "We did not perform to our best against Anderlecht. In the first half we were choosing the wrong time to press the opponents in defense. "

"We were too slow and allowed our opponents to receive the ball between our defence and midfield. That caused us many problems."

Zenit has collected three points from four games, and is trailing second-placed AC Milan by two points.


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