For "sheer guts and determination" Gordon Strachan felt Celtic FC's 2-1 defeat of FC Shakhtar Donetsk was the club's best-ever result in the competition.
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For "sheer guts and determination" Gordon Strachan felt Celtic FC's 2-1 defeat of FC Shakhtar Donetsk was the club's best result ever in the UEFA Champions League. Having been told earlier in the day he was not starting, Massimo Donati came off the bench to score an added-time winner. Visiting coach Mircea Lucescu believes his team "still deserve" to reach the last 16 - whether they do or not depends on next Tuesday's game against SL Benfica, when Celtic go to qualified AC Milan needing a point.
Gordon Strachan, Celtic manager
Just when you think you've seen it all, you can never work out what happens next. We lost a stupid goal, had two players stretchered off in the first half. But you win games with a big heart and my team have a big heart. Was it the best result? Perhaps, just for sheer guts and determination. We didn't give Shakhtar many chances at all and that was pleasing. I know how hard the players have to work and to perform in that kind of environment. It was tense, but the response was fantastic.
I felt that every time we went forward, we were dangerous. Scott Brown, Aiden McGeady, Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink and Jiri Jarosik all looked dangerous. I think the players can be very proud of themselves in the way they never let their heads drop, particularly after the first goal went in so early. They must take a lot of credit. Massimo Donati started the day badly because, earlier on, I told him he wasn't playing and he didn't take it well, but he ended it a hero after scoring the goal. That's football. This is a special place, I don't think there is anywhere in Europe that is like Celtic Park in terms of the atmosphere. But I can't work it out. The players showed so much heart and never gave up.
Mircea Lucescu, Shakhtar Donetsk coach
I am very upset about the result. But I was right when I said Celtic were a lucky team. It wasn't a criticism, it is a strength, but I can't understand it. I wanted to be lucky tonight and I think we were better, but it wasn't to be. We have another chance, we have six days to prepare for the game against Benfica. I think we are a better team than Celtic and I think we deserve to reach the last 16 of the Champions League. Our players made a big mistake for the first goal and Celtic took a lot of confidence from that. We also made a big mistake in the last minute.
We retired too deep into defence and Celtic punished us, like they did against AC Milan and against Benfica. But I think that, on a whole, we were the better team. Celtic are an athletic, well organised and aggressive team. They hold their positions well and do well with high balls. But I think our players are younger and more skilful. They couldn't have scored without our mistakes, they were lucky when they played us in Donetsk to escape with just a 2-0 defeat, we had a perfectly good third goal ruled out and they were lucky again tonight.