Mircea Lucescu: It’s very good that we’ve scored third goal
Press-conference of Shakhtar’s head coach.
- That was a very difficult game in which we showed a good level. We were fighting for the positive result and we achieved it. We had a very good first half. The score of 2-0 didn’t correspond to what was happening on the pitch; it could’ve been bigger. Although, we were lucky when Rakytskyy made an error to allow Ashampong to bear down on goal. But then we pulled ourselves together and finished the first half well. We showed good combination football, using the flanks. The efforts that we made in the first half affected the second: we slowed down a little physically and, unfortunately, lost the best player of the first half of the season - Taison. He was our most active player in the attacking phase. Anderlecht have shownthat they are a good team of precisely this level of the Europa League. In the second half, they even dominated proceedings. Their goal is just a consequence of the big dominance that they had, especially in the central zone. It was good that we scored third goal; we could have scored more and probably deserved it. But I think the result of 3-1 corresponds to the difference, which was on the field. The game in Brussels will be tough. Anderlecht feature strong players. It is very important that Stepanenko will return to his position in the return leg, which will see a lot of physical challenges. We hope that the players who only started training with the group - Bernard, Dentinho, Wellington - will improve during this week and will look even better than today.
- Could you elaborate on Taison's injury? How much time will it take him to recover?
- We will find out tomorrow. Now it is difficult to say. It was important that he timely left the field and did not play in the second half. It may have made his injury even worse.
- What's the nature of his injury?
- Muscle contracture. We will know more tomorrow.
- How satisfied are you with the way Kovalenko replaced Stepanenko?
- Maybe, Malyshev and Kovalenko did not have a very confident start, but then they looked very good. And they finished the match well too. When a football player knows what to do on the field, regardless of his position, he always plays well. It does not depend on his individual qualities, but on how he complies with the principles of the game.