Shakhtar vs Anderlecht: player comments

Players of the Donetsk team on the match with Anderlecht.

Oleksandr Kucher, Shakhtar defender:

- We faced difficult opponents. The Belgian team have a lot of tall guys, besides they are well prepared physically. Anderlecht played through the flanks and set pieces, they are a strong team. Forward Okaka is not only strong, but also fast. It was not easy to play against him. I am glad I have managed to score, especially in an international match. In the second half we gave the initiative away a bit. We knew that our opponents would go forward, but we have pacey players on flanks, and we had the opportunity to play on the counterattack. Our team have had chances, but sometimes, probably, we didn’t play as needed. They could have scored more. During the match, we discussed some moments with Kovalenko. I asked him to play in a more free role, rather than covering the zone. If we compare the Belgian team and Schalke, it should be noted that Anderlecht are also a strong team, who are good at set pieces as they have good and very fast wingers.

Darijo Srna, Shakhtar’s captain:

- I would like to congratulate my team on the win, on a very good first half. We did a great job, created a lot of chances. After the break, we felt a little bit relaxed, because today our team leader is Taison, and his loss means a lot. Bernard worked well, but he is not yet fully ready. Taras Stepanenko was missing, but Max Malyshev and Kovalenko played really well in the centre of midfield. Yes, Stepanenko is an important player for Shakhtar, but our team do not depend on one player. We congratulated Kucher on his first goal in European competitions. He, in turn, is the leader of our defence. When Oleksandr plays, it is felt. He can be an example of professionalism for young Kryvtsov and Ordets. If there is no Kucher, then they too must become leaders of Shakhtar one day. Today we played against good opponents and we can be happy with the result. I have already said a hundred times, and will say again: for us the main thing is that Shakhtar fans, Donetsk, Donbas should be satisfied with our game. I promise you, we will fight to the last to advance further. The farther, the better. But meanwhile we will think about the match with Dnipro, and then about the return game with Anderlecht.

Eduardo, Shakhtar forward:

- We knew that it would be a difficult match. Anderlecht are the team that beat Olympiakos and Monaco! Of course, in the first half we could have scored more than two goals, and show a more convincing result. But that's football... The opponents were taking risks as the game progressed, and we played intelligently in a more cautious manner. We were waiting for our chance. It came when we managed to score third goal! Of course, my goal was important, as 3-1 is better than 2-1.