Shakhtar vs Malmo: players’ opinion
The Pitmen have reflected on a confident win over Malmo.
Darijo Srna, Shakhtar’s defender:
- We could have scored even more. Today the team showed real character and game. We made our fans happy. The game in Sweden was more static, this time we have added dynamics. From the start it was clear that the goal was only a matter of time. As for my yellow card, during the game it seemed to me that I was brought down and the referee had to award a clear penalty. But then I watched a replay with that episode and had doubts, though the contact was clear. I did not want to take risks and simulate, it is a pity that it happened. This is football, it happens, but our team have players who can replace those who are suspended. We have two more matches to play, we will do everything possible to advance from the group. A club like ours - with top players and coach - cannot afford to be out of European competitions in spring. At the moment, Shakhtar are favourites in their fight for third place in the group, we will fight to the end.
Oleksandr Kucher, Shakhtar’s defender:
- We had a good match; we have learned since the last meeting with the Swedish team. Mister pointed out our mistakes, and today we played carefully. If we had not conceded a goal in Malmo, then everything would have been different. When you are a goal down, it is always difficult: opponents immediately sit deep. But today we managed to score: Oleksandr Gladkyy scored a goal, the opponents opened up, and we controlled the match. In general, Malmo played the way we have allowed them to. It is very unpleasant to be booked because of missing the next match. However, I still do not know what it was awarded for: maybe because I hit the ball after the whistle, though, I cannot say, because the ball was in the game... In general, we deserved this victory, and now Shakhtar have to fight for the image and, of course, for the place in the Europa League.
Anton Kanibolotskyy, Shakhtar’s goalkeeper:
- This game was completely the opposite of that in Malmo. Back then we lacked something and did not achieve the desired result. And, of course, today we just did not have room for error. Well, we have not only made conclusions from the previous meeting, but also realized our plans on the field. Shakhtar completely outplayed the opponent: both in terms of the performance and the result. We can say, we took revenge for the defeat. The only negative thing about today’s game is an undeserved yellow card to Kucher. Of course, the intensity of emotions were high, and there were a lot of challenges, and the players were quite nervous, but it is still a mystery for what Oleksandr was awarded yellow card.
Taras Stepanenko, Shakhtar’s midfielder:
- Shakhtar could have scored more goals. In this match we saw the team, all the guys tried their hardest, did their utmost in every moment - and this was reflected in the result. In any case, we had to win by at least a 2-goal margin, so from the first minutes we rushed to attack. Today we changed tactics a little. In the first match, Mister asked to apply more pressure expecting that Malmo would come out of defense - and it played a dirty trick with us: the opponents used long passes to create chances, in the second game, Mister, on the contrary, told me to act more with central defenders and create numerical advantage while challenging for the ball with two forwards. That is, we always had an extra player in defence. And it worked! In my opinion, Malmo had only one chance – when Jurjic struck a shot in the first half. So, we adequately coped with two forwards, and thus we had no problems with set pieces too. So we won, plus, of course, the mood, the home arena, good support - all played into our hands.