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Mkhitaryan eyes top spot after Shakhtar advance

Published: Wednesday 21 November 2012, 0.43CET
Qualification may be secured but FC Shakhtar Donetsk have their eyes on top spot in Group E according to Henrikh Mkhitaryan while Willian delighted in his two-goal showing.
by Trevor Haylett
from Parken
Published: Wednesday 21 November 2012, 0.43CET

Mkhitaryan eyes top spot after Shakhtar advance

Qualification may be secured but FC Shakhtar Donetsk have their eyes on top spot in Group E according to Henrikh Mkhitaryan while Willian delighted in his two-goal showing.

FC Shakhtar Donetsk were delighted to seal their qualification for the knockout rounds with a 5-2 Group E victory at FC Nordsjælland but Henrikh Mkhitaryan warned that they will not ease up and will be going all out for victory in their final group game at home to Juventus. The Danish team say they have learned a lot from their debut UEFA Champions League campaign but acknowledge they were up against three very talented sides.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Shakhtar forward
It is a good feeling to know we have qualified but the group is not over and we still have the most important game to come, against Juventus, because that will decide if we go through in first or second place. We have many good players in the team, good Brazilian players in attack and out wide, and the coach has made us into a very good team. We understand each other and the jobs we all have to perform. We have a certain style and hopefully that will help us get better and better in the future.

A draw against Juventus would be enough for us to win the group but we are not thinking along those lines. We are at home and our supporters will be hoping to see us win so we must try and do it for them.

Willian, Shakhtar midfielder
We are very happy to proceed to the next round. I scored two very important goals tonight and also two very important goals against Chelsea so I am pleased with my form – but happier that my team managed to qualify. Nordsjælland are a good team and play very well with the ball. It is the first time they have participated in the Champions League and they will be all the better for the experience.

Nicolai Stokholm, Nordsjælland midfielder
It was a tough night. We did some good things but were disappointed with our defending, especially in the second half. They scored two fast goals after half-time and that killed the game for us. We knew before we started the group how tough it was going to be. They are three absolutely top teams, teams who are top in their own leagues.

We had some good moments but we have learned that we cannot afford to give away easy goals. We are not used to playing against forwards of this quality who can hit you on the counterattack. I think Juventus will take the other qualifying place because they are the best team we have faced. They were so strong when they beat us in Turin and they showed again in beating Chelsea 3-0 that they are in good shape.

Jesper Hansen, Nordsjælland goalkeeper
We were disappointed to concede the goal before half-time, if we had gone into the interval in front it might have been a different game. In the second half we started very badly and in five minutes they had scored two very quick goals. They were the two goals that killed us. We have faced three big teams in this group and their quality has been obvious in all five games we have played. We have learned a lot. We have learned how to play at this level and that we are able to play at this level – but we are not satisfied with the amount of goals we have conceded.

Last updated: 27/11/12 7.45CET

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