Goalkeeper Andriy Pyatov says FC Shakhtar Donetsk can take a lot of credit from their UEFA Champions League quarter-final second-leg performance against FC Barcelona even though his side slipped to a 1-0 home defeat.
Shakhtar's hopes of extending their best run in this competition were effectively ended after losing 5-1 at the Camp Nou last Wednesday. But in the return match the Ukrainian champions produced a spirited display and could have been two up midway through the first half had Douglas Costa and Jadson taken their chances.
"Our coach spoke to us after the first leg and told us to forget about the result, which we did," Ukrainian international Pyatov said. "We looked at the video from the game and talked about what went wrong and today we managed to put in a much better performance, even if we still didn't take our chances."
Despite their early domination, Shakhtar came to rue their misses as the visitors took control of proceedings and just before half-time Lionel Messi scored an excellent goal. For Pyatov, though, there was no shame in losing to such formidable opponents.
Of course it's not a nice feeling to be knocked out, but we were up against Barcelona," said the 26-year-old. "If we had been drawn against anyone but Barcelona then the result could have been different and I think we would have had a much better chance of making the semi-finals."
Attention now turns to Ukraine's Premier-Liha where Shakhtar have an 11-point lead at the top of the table: Mircea Lucescu's side will want to get back to winning ways quickly, because this defeat was their third in a row in all competitions. In the longer term, with Shakhtar expected to book another UEFA Champions League place next season, Pyatov can look forward to mixing with Europe's best again.
"We can be proud of our achievements in the Champions League as we managed to get to the quarter-finals which we had never done before," he said. "Next season we will look to try and at least equal this achievement, if not better it."
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