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Zenit St Petersburg gain support from Rangers boss Smith

Zenit St Petersburg were worthy winners of their UEFA Cup final insists Rangers chief Walter Smith after the Russian club were accused of match-fixing. Spanish newspaper El Pais claimed a judge had forwarded information to German prosecutors that claimed a gang with links to the Russian Mafia had given money to Bayern Munich before the match earlier this year.

Zenit beat the Bundesliga outfit 4-0 in the second leg before securing a 2-0 triumph against Rangers in Manchester.

The Russian club and Bayern have both strongly denied the allegations.

And Smith has no doubts the better team won at the City of Manchester Stadium in May.

"We don't have a take on it because we don't know enough about it," he said.

"The only thing for us is that we had a good campaign last year and there is no question the better team won the UEFA Cup final.

"I thought the referee was excellent, I thought Zenit were excellent throughout the match.

"As far as Rangers are concerned, that's it - we were beaten on the evening by the better team.

"I don't think there was any question of anything other than that, and if there was, in my mind it had no effect on the match.

"We have no complaints about the final and I think it's wrong that anyone who was at the final should question Zenit and the way they played.

"It makes a good headline but there were no other influences on the game other than the way Zenit played."

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Tribal Football Staff

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