Leverkusen - After slumping to defeat at AS Monaco FC on Matchday 1, Bayer 04 Leverkusen have turned it around in the UEFA Champions League, topping Group E following Wednesday's 2-0 win against FC Zenit after beating Benfica SL in their previous game.

Victory made it a clean sweep of wins for the Bundesliga clubs in the competition, with the Werkself edging a step closer to the knockout rounds. After the game Stefan Kießling spoke about how the team had rectified the errors from last Saturday's calamitous 3-3 draw at VfB Stuttgart to break down the stubborn Russians, before looking ahead to Saturday's encounter at home to fellow Champions League participants FC Schalke 04.

Question: Stefan Kießling, congratulations on group stage win number two in the Champions League. How difficult was it to break Zenit down?

Stefan Kießling: We knew it would be a really tough game. Zenit have an outstanding team, especially in attack, and we had to be patient. We didn't have that many clear-cut chances but we were very well organized and put in a really good shift. Everyone saw how determined we were to win the game.

Question: Did you have a different tactical plan for this game compared to recent matches?

Kießling: Perhaps after we scored the first goal, but not before. Up until then we'd hardly been able to get our game going at all because Zenit had basically played long balls the whole time. When we went long our positioning was good and we were really aggressive, for the second balls as well, and we won most of the knockdowns. We didn't give them much space, even after we went down to ten men. We learned our lessons from the Stuttgart game: once we took the lead, we protected it much better.

Question: Was that the ambition of coach Roger Schmidt - to continuously develop - at work?

Kießling: That's part of it. Our first-half performance in Stuttgart was impressive, and then the collapse was the opposite. You have to learn from games like that and then improve. We definitely did that against Zenit.

Question: You're now top of the group. What is your view of the remaining three games?

Kießling: We're in a good position now - who'd have thought that we'd be top after three games? You can finish first in a group or you can finish fourth. We've taken a step towards the last 16 but we all know we need two more wins.

Question: Zenit will no doubt approach the return game differently.

Kießling: I'd assume so. Zenit have to win and that could be to our advantage. But we still have two weeks until then, with other games to be played. Then obviously we'll hope to be able to play our game in St. Petersburg.

Question: How about a word on your team-mates that scored the goals: Giulio Donati and Kyriakos Papadopoulos.

Kießling: I was absolutely delighted for 'Papa' - that will give him a massive boost. He always gives it everything, in training as well. And Giulio struck it really well for his goal. It's important that the other players chip in with the odd goal.

Question: On Saturday you have a hue game coming up against FC Schalke 04, who will have an extra day to recharge their batteries. Is that an advantage?

Kießling: No idea. It will be a completely different game. It's another home game for us, but Schalke have a good team with a lot of individual quality. We have to play to our strengths. If we can do that, I'm convinced we'll win the game.

Question: What have you made of Schalke in their first two games under new coach Robert Di Matteo?

Kießling: You'd probably expect Schalke to win at home to Hertha. At home to Sporting they made it difficult for themselves and won thanks to a last-minute penalty. It's a fine line. I think they'll have a certain spring in their step and we want to negate that on Saturday.

Question: The Bundesliga table is very tight - Schalke can move above you with a victory. Is that a dangerous situation to be in?

Kießling: Well, we can keep climbing the league as well if we win. We want to make sure against Schalke that we keep building on that lead [in the table].

Tobias Gonscherowski reporting from the BayArena