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Leno relieved as Shakhtar falter again

Published: Wednesday 6 November 2013, 9.17CET
"We were lucky not to lose," said Bernd Leno after Bayer 04 Leverkusen drew 0-0 at FC Shakhtar Donetsk; "we are on a run of bad luck," noted Donetsk captain Darijo Srna.
by Bogdan Buga
from Donbass Arena
Leno relieved as Shakhtar falter again
Bernd Leno made a string of fine saves to defy Shakhtar ©Getty Images
 
 
 
Published: Wednesday 6 November 2013, 9.17CET

Leno relieved as Shakhtar falter again

"We were lucky not to lose," said Bernd Leno after Bayer 04 Leverkusen drew 0-0 at FC Shakhtar Donetsk; "we are on a run of bad luck," noted Donetsk captain Darijo Srna.

Named man of the match for his showing in Bayer 04 Leverkusen's 0-0 draw at FC Shakhtar Donetsk in UEFA Champions League Group A, goalkeeper Bernd Leno admitted that his team had ridden their luck at the Donbass Arena, while the Pitmen's captain Darijo Srna had nothing but praise for his team-mates, despite a disappointing outcome.

Bernd Leno, Leverkusen goalkeeper
Of course I am happy [with the man of the match award], but the most important thing is that we got a point here. It was a very difficult game as Shakhtar played so well, especially in the first half. I had to make a few saves before the break but then we changed tactics and played better. If we had more luck we could even have won this match, but we are really happy with the result. It's not that our aim was to play defensively and get a draw – our coach said pre-match that we should try to win. However, given the number of chances Shakhtar had, I must admit that we were lucky not to lose.

Now we have a really good chance to reach the knockout stage. We always play very well at home, so I think we can defeat Manchester United in the next match, then we must expect a very difficult visit to San Sebastian. The group is still very open, but we are in a good position.

Lars Bender, Leverkusen midfielder
We have got a good result at Shakhtar – this point is very important. In the first half we were happy to avoid conceding. Bernd [Leno] put in a great performance, making several fantastic saves. He kept us in the game before the break. In the second half we did much better and had some chances to score as well.

We had a lot of problems in midfield because Shakhtar put much more pressure on the ball than they did in Leverkusen. They have brilliant attackers – everyone was really dangerous and caused us a lot of problems. If I had to single out just one player from Donetsk team, that would be Fernando: he is very strong.

Darijo Srna, Shakhtar defender
We played very well and I think we deserved three points. We created more chances but were unlucky. However, we look forward with optimism – if we play this well we can qualify for the knockout stage and become Ukrainian champions again. After two defeats, in Leverkusen and Lutsk, it was not easy to show top-class football but we did it. I can only praise our team for that. Tonight, you have seen our true game, but unfortunately we didn't win – we are on a run of bad luck.

It's a pity that Bernard couldn't play the whole match. He has had a difficult time adapting. He is tired. I spoke to him and he admitted that he couldn't play for so long at such a high level. The Champions League is very different to the Ukrainian championship. Fernando and Facundo Ferreyra also showed their class. These players are Shakhtar's future. They are helping us already, but we all expect more from them.

Bernard, Shakhtar midfielder
I am not satisfied because we wanted a win today. We needed it badly after the result in Germany. This draw makes our position in the group a bit more difficult but we are not giving up hope. We will work hard to get positive results in the last two games so that we can qualify for the next stage. This was what Mircea Lucescu told us after the match.

I moved a lot in the first half – never stopped – which is why I was exhausted by the middle of the second half. I'm not in my best shape at the moment. Besides, I have a minor injury and it was sore. But I will work hard to become fitter, and improve my technique.

Last updated: 06/11/13 20.38CET

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