Jansen not surprised after AZ stunt in Rome: ‘No stolen victory’

Jansen not surprised after AZ stunt in Rome: ‘No stolen victory’

NOS Football

Jansen not surprised after AZ stunt in Rome: ‘No stolen victory’

Lazio have defeated Napoli, Internazionale, AC Milan and Feyenoord before this season, but AZ coach Pascal Jansen does not look surprised that AZ won 2-1 against the Italian number three in Rome. In the Roman pandemonium called Stadio Olimpico, the Alkmaarders came back from a 1-0 deficit.

Jansen had “already recovered” from the rush just under twenty minutes after the final whistle. And when he looked back on the match, he thought: not at all illogical, this win.

‘Not surprised’

“I’m not surprised,” the coach spoke at the press conference. “I have seen my team play as I have seen many times. It is very nice to see that they have shown that on this stage.”

Although it was survival in the early stages, as AZ struggled to get out from under the pressure of the easy-footed Romans. “You don’t hope for that. We went through that scenario from the first 20 minutes.” Jansen saw that AZ was “hesitant” on the ball and, in Lazio’s half, lost the ball too easily.

Strong-playing Reijnders after stunt in Rome: ‘Beautiful night of soccer, settling in Alkmaar’

“I think we started at too low a tempo,” said standout Tijjani Reijnders afterwards. “Due to which we were late every time and helped them in the match. Such a first quarter is not necessary…”

“The good thing is that we got a boost right before halftime. You already felt it coming,” Jansen referred to Vangelis Pavlidis’ equalizer, which came about after fine preparatory work by Jesper Karlsson and especially Reijnders.

AZ players celebrate with travelling fans

“In the end we grow back into the game and create opportunities,” said Reijnders. “After good pressure we make that 2-1 and then you start believing in yourself, that we can catch this Lazio as well.”

The 24-year-old midfielder was pleased that the Alkmaarders got down to typical AZ soccer. “We showed that against Lazio we can also play our own game and that we can turn a 1-0 deficit around. That gives a good feeling.”

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    AZ players celebrate after win over Lazio
  • Pro Shots

    AZ players celebrate after victory over Lazio
  • Pro Shots

    AZ players celebrate after victory over Lazio

Jansen, despite considerable opportunities for Lazio even after the 2-1 lead, does not want to speak of a stolen victory. “No, they also had their moments, but it was not stolen, no.”

The head coach is already looking ahead to the return on Thursday, March 16, in Alkmaar and was very appreciative of his players’ post-match attitude in the locker room. The selection was “not too exuberant” and “very modest.” “And rightly so, because you are only at halftime of this match. In Alkmaar we have another very tough match.”

‘Beautiful night of soccer’

“Later, we also have to show again what we can do and not walk backwards against this Lazio,” Reijnders said. “A small celebration is allowed and in Alkmaar we have to deal with it.”

AZ will sleep well tonight. Reijnders: “A beautiful evening of soccer, in a beautiful setting, and winning against such a top team. That’s a nice feeling. We can be proud of that.”

Kayleigh Williams