Malmo vs Shakhtar: players’ view

The Pitmen have reflected on the match with the Swedes.

Fred, Shakhtar’s midfielder:

- Today, our biggest problem was that Malmo played very cautious football, with good counterattacks. That's how they beat us. We also had the chances to score but, unfortunately, we failed to convert them. We had been studying the opponents for a long time, we knew that Malmo are organised team. So today, the opponents did not surprise us, they managed to score, and after that they played well in defence. But Shakhtar do not give up! We hope to win the next game.

Taras Stepanenko, Shakhtar’s midfielder:

- We were ready for this game. Basically, we controlled it in the first half, but then conceded a goal and failed to win. In the second half of the game, we began to rush forward and committed more mistakes. We had enough chances, but there were too many errors, so we almost did not create anything upfront. You cannot blame only one person for that: the whole team are to blame and the whole team lost. Once again: our game in the second half was not up to the mark. It was difficult to carve Malmo’s defence open, the team defended with almost the whole team. Malmo are athletically strong team, and if there is a free zone, they always run into them. And when there is space, of course, it is much easier to operate. Moreover, they closed us down intelligently. At the end of the game I had a good chance, but I failed to capitalise on that. To be honest, this year we have been a bit unlucky: we play, we try to combine, but cannot score, and then we concede a goal and it is hard for us to level. But we need to go through it; moreover, we are waiting for the second leg with Malmo. Naturally, now we are upset, but we must move on and work - then good luck and victories will come.

Bernard, Shakhtar’s midfielder:

- We are frustrated and angry with ourselves. We studied Malmo a lot; we were seriously preparing for the game. Unfortunately, the opponents managed to score, and then they sat deep in defense, and we failed to carve it open. The problem is not even that Malmo’s defenders are tall, strong. They just played very tight at the back. Plus the size of the pitch field was shortened here, it was felt. It is better for defence. Although, we knew about it and were ready for it. We tried to break through the flanks and through the centre, using short and long passing, but unfortunately we failed to score. We possessed the ball more, but failed to carve the opposition defence open. Malmo played in a very organised way.