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The Boys in Brown dominated for long periods against Arminia Bielefeld, though their finishing left something to be desired. Despite cruising to a two-goal lead, they were left biting their nails in the closing stages, but after back-to-back defeats, the lads were obviously delighted to take all three points.

Head coach Fabian Hürzeler: “We started very well and had super positioning on the ball and a clear structure. It also helped that our counter-pressing was very good. We were incredibly aggressive and active off the ball, with lots of sprints and repeated high pressing. That allowed us to put pressure on the ball and win possession early. I have cause to be very, very satisfied apart from the Bielefeld goal. Overall, it was our best performance as far as our play on the ball and our transition play are concerned. What happened then is something you see in football very often. We lost control of the game after we conceded and couldn’t find any more answers with the ball. We were too passive and lacked courage. Bielefeld had one or two chances where we could count ourselves lucky, but in the end we deserved it. I was very happy with the first 75 minutes but not the rest. We’ll definitely have another look at it. I was very satisfied with the attitude. The way the lads played was a step in the right direction again. I’d like to wish Bielefeld all the best for the rest of the season.”

Nikola Vasilj: “We're obviously delighted to win again after the two recent defeats. Games like these, where you have nothing to do for long periods, aren't easy for goalkeepers, but I stayed alert and fired up." Bielefeld scored with what felt like their first attempt. We tried to stay stable after that and kept pushing each other. We had lots of good chances, especially in the first half, but didn’t score. At half-time we said we would keep imposing our game on them. We kept our belief that we could win the game. In the end, we deserved to win.”

Marcel Hartel: “It was totally deserved. We allowed them no chances in the first half and were very dominant. We started well again in the second half and went two up. Then we let Bielefeld come back into it with the goal and they put us under pressure, but we held our own well and fought to the end. The long balls forced us to drop back a bit. We kept trying to press the ball, but it didn’t work so well in the closing stages. In the end, though, we’re delighted with the win. I didn't celebrate when I scored out of respect for the fans and the opposition. I hope Bielefeld can stay up somehow and get the points they need in the last four games. We’ll focus on the four last games, too, and aim to go for maximum points.”

Leart Paqarada: “My pass was a good one and Cello brought it down superbly. He’s becoming something of a goalscorer (he laughs). We were incredibly dominant in the first half but didn’t reward ourselves with a goal. We made a good start to the second half, got the goal and then added a second but then we conceded out of the blue. We didn’t defend it well and it unsettled us. It was obvious then that a team like Bielefeld, who definitely have quality and need every point in the battle against relegation, are going to throw everything at it but we held our own well. The win today was tremendously important.”

Lukas Daschner: “We put pressure on them throughout and should have scored at least twice in the first half. We pressed them well and when we had the ball we kept finding the space to create chances. We got the goals in the second half, but Bielefeld put us under pressure in the closing stages. It was tight at the end, which was unnecessary. We shouldn’t be coming under so much pressure again and are obviously delighted with the three points in the end. Huge praise for the team for the way we came back after two defeats. With the fans behind us, and the atmosphere was incredible today, we could have four superb games left.”

Uwe Koschinat (Arminia Bielefeld head coach): “I have to admit I’m getting a bit sick of having to combine my opening statement with congratulations for the opposition, but I’ll do it again today, of course. Compliments on a great second half of the season. Today, we didn’t deserve a point in the first half because contrary to our idea we were extremely passive and kept playing passes that were only good for giving our opponents excellent chances to press us. We had no drive towards goal at all and kept inviting St. Pauli. They had a lot of clear-cut chances and so we were glad to go in at half-time 0-0. During the break we agreed that we’d have no chance here today the way we were playing. We changed things round to be much more pro-active, which corresponds to our style of play. It looked much better but then we conceded the opening goal because we were wide open in the middle. Then we shipped the second. It was a tough test for the team after that, but we found some renewed energy. Courage born of despair, you might put it facetiously. We threw everything at it in a bid to change the scoreline. Seen over the 90 minutes, it was a totally deserved victory for St. Pauli in the end, though we could have snatched a point late on.”


Photos: FC St. Pauli/Witters

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