Mircea Lucescu said FC Shakhtar Donetsk's pace and organisation were key to his side's recovery at AS Roma, whose coach Claudio Ranieri remains optmistic of turning the tie.
Article top media content
Mircea Lucescu was basking in the afterglow of a "deserved" victory after FC Shakhtar Donetsk came from a goal down at AS Roma to mark their first appearance in the UEFA Champions League round of 16 with a memorable win. Home coach Claudio Ranieri pointed to Jadson's quick equaliser in response to Simone Perrotta's opener as the match's key moment – but is hopeful of turning the tie around in Donetsk on 8 March.
Claudio Ranieri, Roma coach
We started very well, we were doing everything we had too in the early stages. We knew they could be dangerous on the counterattack because their players have pace and technique. Then we scored, but 45 seconds later they equalised. Small things like this can turn games around. We played well tactically, but we should have been more careful immediately after taking the lead. Then [Douglas] Costa scored a great goal, while the third was just unfortunate.
We have to accept the result but I'm satisfied with my players, especially in the second half because they reacted and tried to come back from 3-1 down, a result which could have left us on our knees. We weren't lucky tonight but we won't give up because it could be the other way around in Ukraine.
Costa is a phenomenal player, he has technique and great pace, I had studied his way of playing and it's certainly not the first time he scores a goal like this. Shakhtar have a great future. They have young, talented players. They are very good keeping possession and always find a man unmarked. They remind me of Barcelona.
Mircea Lucescu, Shakhtar coach
The result is great and we deserved it. We were lucky Roma were so nervous. Fans can only imagine how difficult it was on the pitch, but we're a highly organised team and fast on the counterattack. In the second half you could see that Shakhtar lack a bit of physical conditioning, so Roma performed well then and pressed us hard.
I knew the level of my players and I was completely confident they would give their all to achieve this result. It was an important victory in a match against a club that have come a long way in recent years. This is how we repay our fans and our president. There's also my standing here and obviously great credit should go to the players.
We should attack at home because Roma will also go forward. They will probably play a different game, hit us on the counterattack, but in any case they're a very strong side.