After a 2-0 loss at PSV Eindhoven in the UEFA Champions League on Tuesday, VfL Wolfsburg's progression from Group B to the knockout rounds now hangs in the balance.
The Wolves, third in the standings, travel to Russia to face PFC CSKA Moskva in three weeks' time in need of a positive result, and captain Diego Benaglio is under no illusions as to the challenge that awaits them in their final two matches, as he admitted in an interview following the defeat at the Philips Stadion.
Diego Benaglio, how painful is this result?
Benaglio: It’s really, really frustrating. We were in a great position after playing them at home and now we’ve lost that.
It looked as though the team was lacking the bite and the will to win to get a result. How do you assess the game?
Benaglio: I don't like to claim that my team-mates didn't have the will to win. I just think that we didn’t manage to put in a good enough performance. There were only a few things that we did well up front and we lost the ball quickly on a lot of occasions, which played into PSV’s hands. A lot of the second balls fell for them and we couldn’t put them under enough pressure.
PSV scored twice in the second half. What’s your view of the two goals that you conceded?
Benaglio: We made it too easy for them in a lot of situations, especially in the second half. For the first goal, the whole team obviously can’t be dissected by one pass that allows their striker to run clear on goal. The second goal came more out of them relieving the pressure we were creating, and the ball fell perfectly for [Luuk] de Jong.
In the 32nd minute you collided with PSV’s Jürgen Locardia and it looked like you wouldn’t be able to continue. How are you feeling?
I have a bit of a headache, but the defeat hurts a lot more.
You’re now third in the standings following this result. How do you see the group with two games remaining?
Benaglio: As I’ve said, it’s frustrating to no longer be in the position that we were in. Everything’s a lot closer in the group now, but we still have two games to go and we have to make sure that we get at least a point when we go to Moscow. Then it will come down to how PSV do away at Manchester United. So in spite of everything, nothing has changed really. We still need to keep focusing on ourselves and make sure we do everything to get into the next round.
You mentioned that game away to CSKA Moscow. Six years ago, Wolfsburg played away to CSKA at the same stage of the competition and lost out on reaching the knockout rounds after losing 2-1. What gives you hope that you can avoid a repeat of that this time around?
Benaglio: I said when the draw was made that I hoped we’d do better this time than back then. How the game does in Moscow will come down in large part to how we perform.
Alexander Barklage reporting from Eindhoven.