Mircea Lucescu: Dangerously even score for both teams

Press conference by Shakhtar head coach after drawing in Istanbul.

- This is just the first part of the two-legged encounter with Fenerbahce. On the field, there were two teams, each of whom wanted to win today. We dominated the game in the first half. After the break, Fenerbahce attacked more and created several chances. But if we consider scoring opportunities, we had an advantage, in view of the fact that in the first half there had been four episodes, where the ball should have hit the back of the net. I want to highlight the two strong teams. I am not surprised by the good results of Fenerbahce in the matches they played in preparing for the season. This team has the players with a high level of individual brilliance. Today's result leaves us equal chances of emerging victorious in this face-off. 0-0 is a dangerously even score for both sides. We need to pay more attention to the second encounter, which will take place in Lviv. I am sure that Fenerbahce will be even more ready in a week’s time than today. And for our part, we will do everything possible to make it further. Of course, I would like to say a few words about the audience in the stadium today. They are just incredible! Every time I arrive at any of the stadiums in Istanbul, I feel this atmosphere. I am always very happy to be here in front of such fans. Especially in this stadium, where we won the last UEFA Cup! I do not think that somewhere else in the world there is an audience similar to the one we’ve had at the match against Fenerbahce today. I was impressed by the fact that the crowd applauded both teams after the game.

- Why wasn’t Azevedo fielded?
- Because Shevchuk was on the pitch today! Ismaily also wasn’t present.

- Please comment on the situation that happened to Fred. What is his psychological state, and what are the prospects?
- It is very difficult to talk about it. Before the game, the UEFA recommended that he shouldn’t take part in the match. But there was no official document, and this recommendation was informal. The results of the second test have not yet been announced. I talked to the team and personally to the player. When a formal decision is made, then, naturally, we will follow it. It's hard to say what happened. Perhaps the doctor of Brazil national team should be responsible for that. I do not think that a footballer who runs 13 kilometres per game, needs any pills. We are waiting for the result of the second sample, then there will be something to comment on. I will be deeply distressed if the 20-year-old man gets punished or suspended for a certain period.

- Have Shakhtar managed today to present themselves as they wanted to, as they were expected to?
- We had a great match. We played a decent game against a very strong team. Again, 0-0 is a dangerously even score. Any counterattack or some crazy goal by the opponents and the course of the game will change. We should be very careful in the return leg.

- Please assess Fenerbahce’s performance.
- I will not assess the opponents. I assess my team only, but once again, we got very strong opponents.

 

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