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Fonseca: Outcome of the match was decided on 91 minutes

Friday, February 24, 2017



Shakhtar head coach reflects on the meeting with Celta

- First of all, I want to congratulate the opponents. There was quite an open football tonight. Both sides have created a huge number of chances. We could have decided the outcome of the tie from the very start, before Celta responded well and had some clear-cut opportunities. Of course, I cannot but mention the 90th minute, when just a shameful penalty was given away. There was absolutely no penalty there. I am telling that for a good reason, as I watched the video of that moment. The referee was even about to give a yellow card to Guidetti, but then suddenly transformed it into a penalty. This is a disgrace. Today, we have been “pushed out” not by Celta, which is a good team, but, namely, by judges’ team. Allow me to recall also the first extra time, when there was a handball. It could be clearly seen, as well – they should have awarded a spot-kick, but waved away instead. I'm not the kind of person who is looking for any excuses. I just can’t help telling of this. The more so, as now I have a dressing room, full of players being furious over those issues. I could not help but draw your attention to this.

- Everything is clear, as for refereeing is concerned. Are you pleased with your team’s performance?
- At the pre-match press conference, I already mentioned that we expected a very difficult encounter against good opponents. It so happened. But I still can not help but say that the outcome of the match was decided in the 91st minute. This is precisely what predetermined today's result.

- Celta head coach mentioned that his team would be focused on the emotional component, among other things. Do you think that Shakhtar had run short of anger, offensively, as well as emotions?
- I guess it is precisely referees who have had enough of them tonight. The point is, as I said, the 91th minute. Our team displayed a well-balanced performance, keeping emotions in check, and this did not affect the outcome of the match.

- How would you assess Blanco Lesсhuk’s performance? Do you reckon that Boriachuk could have been fielded earlier?
- Blanco was giving his all to the fullest. I can say none of the bad about his display. You should pay attention to the fact that Celta’s players forming defensive line are very strong physically, especially centre-backs. Gustavo had plenty of duels with them. I think Boriachuk couldn’t have met challenge like that for long. That's why I fielded him when I felt the need to.

- Did you watch the footage when a penalty was awarded and when it was not given? Did you see the replay of conceding a second goal following a set piece? Who is to blame and what happened?
- Yes, I have watched that moment as well. Of course, it's our mistake. It is clear that there came literally an explosion of emotions, since we had to score. We conceded after a swift counterattack. However, it was the 91th minute and a non-existent fabricated penalty other than the second goal, which decided the outcome of today’s match.

- Please, evaluate Kovalenko’s display. And how serious is Dentinho's injury?
- It will take about three weeks more for Dentinho to recover. Kovalenko had not also trained with us for some time. Nevertheless, as I said earlier, I can not point the finger at any of our players, saying that I am dissatisfied with someone. I can not reproach the guys.

- How will the team seek for the motivation, after being eliminated from the Europa League and enjoying a 13 points lead over Dynamo in the Premier league?
- Everyone at Shakhtar should always be motivated. I have fantastic players, who will, in no case, hang their heads after such defeats. Especially after the loss like today. From the first day at Shakhtar, I keep on saying that our top goal is Ukrainian championship. I am sure the lads will not stop believing in themselves because of the match like this. It will not happen. We must react as quickly as possible and fully concentrate on our primary objective, which is the domestic championship.

- How would you evaluate the state of the turf? And did it play into Celta’s hands that the Spanish La Liga is underway now, with the Ukrainian domestic league just resuming?
- I do not like to answer such questions. The sides who do not have mid-season’s break in the domestic league have an advantage. You can take a look at Zenit that have also played today. But there is nothing wrong with that, I'm not looking for excuses in this connection. I already told you what have happened today. I think you have seen it yourself. The pitch? It is clear that it was not in perfect condition today. The guys slipped, as the lawn was a little soft. But what can we do if the weather is like that? People, who had prepared the field, fully devoted themselves to work. I believe the pitch was still more convenient for Celta to play on. We love quick football and experienced some discomfort. However, I repeat: it is a lame excuse in any case. We failed to claim a victory today not due to this stuff.

- Do you intend to prepare for the fixture vs Vorskla in Kharkiv?
- Yes, we do. By the way, I will make use of your question and say that today’s support was fantastic at the stadium. All faithful have been supporting Shakhtar until the last minute. That was awesome. It was nice to feel such an atmosphere.