Mircea Lucescu: Important victory over a good team

Press conference by the Pitmen’s head coach after defeating Rapid.

- Mister, how serious is Taras Stepanenko’s injury?
- We don’t know yet, he is in the hospital. Our doctors stay with him, so we’ll know it later. When he was taken to the hospital, he did not feel his hand. Probably, it was a tough collision. Today we’ve seen a tough performance by both sides. It’s evident that Rapid set up for that kind of game from the opening minutes, as there were numerous challenges in midfield. In general, I think the meeting proved spectacular, and the fans enjoyed it. We dominated the first half, created many chances and managed to score. We tried to shift the game to Rapid’s half, knowing that they are usually very good at pressing their opponents. Therefore, in the first half we had the edge performance wise. For the second half, quite naturally, Rapid came on being more persistent. While we’ve had the Champions League match, in which we couldn’t take any risks, knowing that we still have a home game ahead. It’s been a very important victory over a good team.

- In the second half, Shakhtar have played very reliably in defensive terms, having just few blistering attacks though. It seemed that Gladkyy didn’t hold onto the ball really well...
- Right, I also expected more from Gladkyy. Too static has he been today, not always foreseeing how the situation would develop. He had a good chance when he hit the goalie from a six-metre range. But overall it’s good that we’ve won today. We’ll do the analysis later and then draw the right conclusions. I'm happy with the result. It’s no coincidence Rapid are sitting the top spot in the Austrian league. No wonder 45 thousand spectators come to the stadium to support the team  this means they play well and bring hope to their fans.