A real grudge match

Wednesday, April 14, 2021



In an interview to Shakhtar News, Shakhtar midfielder Taras Stepanenko spoke about the upcoming clash with Dynamo

- We prepare for it with double responsibility. That’s always a real grudge match for Shakhtar. Everyone is aware of their responsibility and prepares to the full.


- You played against Vorskla for 90 minutes, while against Mariupol you spent just one half. How do you feel after the injury?

- I’m gradually rediscovering my form. Of course, we need to go through games, because in training - whatever it may be - you spare yourself, you don’t always tackle to the full, trying to play it safe. And in a match, that’s just impossible. The more I play, the faster I get back in shape. The encounter with Dynamo will be the test of that. But generally, everything’s fine.


- Sydorchuk will not play for Dynamo. How will the centre-of-the-pitch play change?

- Serhii is now in great shape, he scores goals and plays an important role at Dynamo. The fact that he won’t appear is a minus for them. But I suppose Lucescu will find someone to field instead, they have enough young players. I think Serhii himself is not that happy with the fact that he earned a yellow card. No matter how many matches there are, the one against Shakhtar is always special - everyone wants to take part in it. Moreover, in case of Sydorchuk’s current form, it would be good for him. But sometimes it happens that emotions take over and you get a yellow card, and then you think: why have I done that?


- You claimed five victories in a row over Dynamo in the league. How does it happen?

- I want to repeat that we are preparing for Dynamo with double efforts. That’s a real grudge match. Nevertheless, we lost the Super Cup tie to them. We won the league game. Now there’ll be a really crucial game: more image wise for us and more standing wise for them because even a draw will significantly increase the opponents’ chance of winning the title. Meanwhile, we need only victory and we’ll try to get it.


- Which Clasico comes to your mind right now?

- There were many great encounters with Dynamo. I remember best those that brought us a trophy. In the Ukrainian Cup, we beat them 2-0 and raised the trophy. We always had real performances at the Donbass Arena: the matches against Dynamo saw the biggest attendance figures. There were even places for standing. I remember the 2-0 victory when Oleksandr Kucher notched up two goals, we beat them 4-1 ... Quite many games, and they are always memorable.