Van der Vaart: 'Important to show who's boss'

Hamburg - There was no holding back during Matchday 10's fieriest encounter which saw Hamburg win at home for the first time in 211 days courtesy of a hard-fought 1-0 triumph over Bayer 04 Leverkusen

Hamburger SV

There was no biting of tongues off the field afterwards either, and bundesliga.com has the post-mouth comments from the Imtech-Arena...

Rafael van der Vaart: This was such a huge relief, not only for me, but also for the whole team. It was an amazing fight from all of us. It was important for us to show who's boss here. Of course the football we played could have been better, but today we demonstrated pure battling qualities. I was tense taking the penalty, but I closed my eyes one last time and focused myself fully on where I want to put the ball. In the dying seconds, when I was sitting on the bench, I almost cried when the ball came back off the post. I was really worried that we’d once again fail to reward ourselves, but it all worked out in the end. I'm really pleased that I was able to start the game today. Lewis [Holtby] and I have a really good understanding out on the pitch.

Heiko Westermann: There has been a lot of talk about Hakan [Calhanoglu] but all that was important to us was that Leverkusen lost here and that we kept the three points in Hamburg. We played well as a team. I believe the first half was the most emotional since I’ve been at HSV. The grass, the fans, us players – everything and everyone was fired up. It was clear to us before the game that the only way we’d have a chance was to get stuck in. We had the luck and you only get that when you work really hard. Today we can enjoy the win. Starting tomorrow our focus turns to the game in Wolfsburg, where we’ll be the clear outsiders, but where we want to present ourselves as a team and as a community once again.

Nicolai Müller: We wanted to hold firm against their pressing game, get into the game by winning challenges and ensure we made no mistakes. Today it was really important that we didn’t fall behind. Luck was on our side and we managed to take the lead today. The key moments for me were the penalty and the shot [Karim Bellarabi’s] that hit the post in the last minute. I waited a long time for a home win. Being able to celebrate with the fans after the game was a super feeling.

Valon Behrami: Today was more fight than football. There was a foul after every two touches of the ball, but grit sometimes wins you matches. The way we play football is completely irrelevant; the most important thing is that we’ve got three points. The pressure was more on Leverkusen. It wasn’t an easy situation for us to be in either, but it one which we handled really well. It was a fun game; I really enjoy matches like this.

Bayer 04 Leverkusen

Karim Bellarabi: We knew what to expect here and right from the off there was an aggressive atmosphere. We matched them well and in the second half we got into the game better but in the end it wasn’t enough. In the final few seconds we hit the inside of the post and it was unfortunate that the rebound went straight to one of their players. I think a draw would have been a fair result today but that’s just the way things go sometimes; we lost and now we have to turn our attention to our Champions League game.

Stefan Kießling: It was a fiery encounter and I think we allowed ourselves to be affected by that a little bit. That was a mistake because it meant we didn’t focus on our own game. We lacked a cutting edge up front in decisive situations. Overall I think we were the better team but we just didn’t manage to create any chances .

Bernd Leno: We can’t change what’s happened and on Tuesday we’ve got another game coming up that we want to win. We can’t afford to panic now; we need to analyse the match and take the positives from it.

Julian Brandt: I think it was a hard-fought game but we didn’t really get into the match. We didn’t create any clear goalscoring chances and that’s why they won. Not everything we did today was bad and in the final minute we hit the post, which was very disappointing. Maybe we need to learn how to eke out ugly wins in games where we have to fight a lot.