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Mircea Lucescu: To stand like statues when they score is unsportsmanlike

Shakhtar head coach answered the journalists' questions after the meeting with Hoverla.

- It was hard after winning in Denmark to get the team tuned for the league game. We were not in a very good mood, we felt sad because of what had happened there. It made me make some substitutions, six new players - compared to the past game - appeared in the starting lineup. I want to note that the beginning of the match was just great – they did everything to score early, just as we normally ask them to, and it was 3-0 already by the 18th minute. They had some more good chances. Unfortunately, after that, they got somewhat slack, and, probably, they treated some of the passes sloppily. In the second half, we made changes, which revived the game. I think that the scoreline corresponds to what happened on the pitch. Hoverla played a very open football here in Donetsk, though they posed a danger near our goal on a few occasions, but there is no doubt about Shakhtar’s superiority and victory.

- Mister, you are a very experienced and worldly-wise man. Can you at least assume what UEFA may decide on the 27th of November?
- Definitely, they will take some decision in that regard. But I want UEFA to realize that we didn’t know how to act in that situation. Just to stand like statues, doing nothing when they score is also unsportsmanlike, from my point of view. There is a gap between allowing the opponents to score that way and helping them to do that. We would like the people in the committee, who are in charge of that decision-making, to review Adriano’s position: the player was standing with his back to there and he saw the ball only when it dropped near his feet. I want them to understand that football is a game of emotion. And at times, given the instincts, it is very difficult to make the right decision in a split second. I would like them to see there that we, basically, made way for them. Unfortunately, Stepanenko found his foot on Stokholm’s. And then, the ball was found by Srna, and Darijo provided a long cross. After that, FC Nordsjælland reached our goal through seven passes, and we never touched the ball. I'm not saying that it was the help from our side. The opponents were persistent in that situation, and our players were very calm. Then, never again recurred the situation when they could complete those passes, one-touch ones, that easily - we just wouldn’t allow them to do that! It’s advantageous to them to talk about the goal - it's probably a kind of alibi. In the end, our advantage was so obvious that had the scoreline been 8-2 or 8-3, no one would have been surprised. Once again, I want to note that we are very sorry that we’ve found ourselves in this situation, but we must protect our players. Firstly, we wanted to concede, and then, we did not interfere with their scoring. It was very difficult to make that decision. You need to know what to do in this situation according to the regulations. Again, maybe it would have been even more unsportsmanlike if we’d just parted and allowed FC Nordsjælland to net. But it happened only because we didn’t know what to do in that case. But I can’t say specifically what decision will be made, I can not. It will depend on how seriously they will review the six minutes between our goal and the opposition’s. And if they understand that it happened just accidentally, then it will be one thing. If not - then another.

- Had you made the way and FC Nordsjælland scored a goal, could it happen under certain circumstances that Juventus or Chelsea would be discontent over that. Is it possible?
- Probably, everyone else would interpret it like that. Nobody knows how it could have turned out. The most important thing is that convincingly proved that we rose above that episode, above the opponents, above all. Perhaps the decision-making committee also need to take this into account. I wouldn’t like them to turn us into some negative role models. There was a whole bunch of identical situations when no tough decisions were made.

FC Shakhtar
Press Office