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Thrilled Bento keeps feet on the ground

"Only three points and not a ticket into the knockout stage" was the view of Paulo Bento after Sporting Clube de Portugal won 1-0 against a FC Shakhtar Donetsk team who felt the full fury of their coach.

Fábio Rochemback (left) attempts to dispossess Shakhtar's Jadson
Fábio Rochemback (left) attempts to dispossess Shakhtar's Jadson ©Getty Images

Mircea Lucescu, Shakhtar coach
The result isn't a fair one. Sporting only had one chance, which they took. We deserved a draw at least but that's football and we have to win the return match. I think we have the ability to beat Sporting at their place as they didn't look better than us tonight. We started well but after ten minutes lost our way. I never expected our players to be so sluggish in midfield, losing most of the battles for the ball. It was a bitter surprise for me that our two central defenders, international players, would be so nervous. They made too many long passes, with most of them going to Sporting players. This isn't our style. Our attacking threat depends greatly on Fernandinho and Jadson but, unfortunately, they didn't play to their usual level. In fact, the whole team were not as aggressive as they should have been. I was also disappointed with Willian and Olexandr Gladkiy who came on in the second half. They're considered to be huge talents but they have to follow the example set by the likes of Liedson or Derlei who both played really effectively.

Paulo Bento, Sporting coach
It was a very good game between two equal teams. In my opinion, neither side was on top in the first half. After the break it remained even but we created a wonderful opportunity to take the lead and didn't squander it. My compliments go to Liedson for scoring the winner, but the whole team deserves applause. I like the way we defended, especially the amount of balls we won in midfield. The substitutions also worked well, with the replacements adding fire and passion to our football. I don't think the battle for second place is over. We've beaten a very strong team at their places but that's only three points and not a ticket into the knockout stage. I'm sure the next match in Lisbon will be no easier than this.