Mircea Lucescu: In the return game we need to win by a two-goal margin
Post-match press conference by the Pitmen’s head coach.
- Mister, compared to the Ukrainian League clash, the team can be hardly recognised in the Champions League. Very few shots on target. What’s the reason behind it?
- It is difficult to comment on this game. In the first half, we fully bossed it, taking shots at goal, but our opponents defended well and sometimes blocked those shots. The ball either flew wide or just beyond bounds for a corner. They knew that they are stronger aerially and that they can handle corner kicks. Unfortunately, the very first outing into our penalty area led to a goal. The entire right wing played not as they should have done. In the match against PSG, when they scored a goal against us, the pass also came from that area, just as against Real Madrid, unfortunately. Marlos joined in the action too late. We had chances to equalise. Just immediately Fred had a scoring opportunity. And to differ from the opponents who converted a similar chance, Fred just shot it wide. In the second half we should have extended the kind of performance we showed in the first one. But we, unfortunately, began to rush it. The defenders tried to give some dangerous passes, at the same time making numerous errors passing wise. This allowed the opponents to fulfil their counterattacks. So we were forced to play the physical football which we did not play in the first half! There was a whole lot of challenges for the ball, and the opponents turned out to be more powerful than us in this regard. Plus the support of the fans who largely affected the refereeing ... Sometimes it seemed that the audience reacted first - and only then the ref took his decision. The spot kick awarded against us was not the case. In that episode there was a foul in the course of attack: Darijo was pulled by his hand. But this doesn’t justify the loss at all. Perhaps we deserve the loss, because we weren’t aggressive enough in the final phase of our attacks. Maybe we looked more threatening in the dying minutes, when Kovalenko took the field: he began to penetrate the opponents’ penalty area and create some half-chances. On the whole, today, we probably lost it in midfield. Fred and Stepanenko were not the players to control the game and link defence to offence by their passing game. Painful defeat. Now we have to prepare well for the return leg against Malmo. We must win by a two-goal margin, because I believe that we are stronger than this team.