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FC Dynamo Kyiv leapfrogged FC BATE Borisov into top spot in UEFA Europa League Group E, with stand-in coach Oleh Luzhny delighted with the 4-1 win in Minsk that confirmed his side's last-32 place.
"This is how we should always play," said the 42-year-old former Dynamo and Arsenal FC defender, who took temporary charge following Valeri Gazzaev's departure in October. "The result speaks for itself. I want to thank the fans who came to support us in this weather. I also want to thank my players as they stuck to our game plan perfectly."
Ognjen Vukojević broke the deadlock for the visitors after 16 minutes and the Croatia midfielder said: "This was our best performance of the season. We showed our character. We decided not to talk much but to show everything on the pitch." Given that the game was played in temperatures of around -13 in Belarus, showing 100% commitment was one way of keeping warm.
Vukojević's midfield partner Andriy Yarmolenko scored the second on 43 minutes before second-half strikes from Oleh Gusev and Artem Milevskiy. He said: "The heavy frost forced us to keep moving. We lived up to our potential. I don't want talk about BATE as the result speaks for itself. The only thing I would say is that it was a kind of a derby and they wanted to win and make their fans happy as well."
BATE had held Dynamo to a 2-2 draw in Ukraine on Matchday 1, but having already secured the Belarusian title and a round of 32 place before kick-off, coach Viktor Goncharenko could not bring himself to blame his players for this result. "We lost but I am not disappointed," he said. "We have achieved all of our goals this season."
BATE playmaker Renan Bressan, who unexpectedly started on the bench, was rather more downbeat, saying: "We are down as this was our third defeat in a row – in the league, then the cup and now Europe." His gloomy team-mates, who mustered a late consolation goal from Pavel Nekhaychik, were reluctant to comment further. "The result is on the scoreboard," said defender Aleksandr Yurevich. "What do you want me to say?"
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