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Lucescu hails Shakhtar's bright young things

Mircea Lucescu said his FC Shakhtar Donetsk side "have a great future ahead of them" after a 6-2 aggregate victory over AS Roma secured their place in next Friday's quarter-final draw.

Lucescu hails Shakhtar's bright young things
Lucescu hails Shakhtar's bright young things ©UEFA.com

Mircea Lucescu said he always expected his FC Shakhtar Donetsk side to beat AS Roma and book a place in the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals, winning 6-2 on aggregate. The players, he added "have a great future ahead of them", a sentiment echoed by Giallorossi counterpart Vincenzo Montella. Making his coaching debut at this level he found cause for hope for a team that lost 3-0 on the night after playing over half the match with ten men following Philippe Mexès's dismissal.

Mircea Lucescu, Shakhtar coach
We prepared well, knowing we couldn't afford to lose the margin we earned in Rome. We had problems at the beginning of the match as Roma produced some strong football but we were well organised and managed to rearrange and eliminate errors during the match. We attacked well and after we scored the first goal we stopped thinking about Roma because the cooperation and coordination between our players grew much stronger.

Roma became very nervous after the dismissal of Philippe Mexès. We have many youngsters who are very quick and they showed it. I am very happy with my lads: they have a great future ahead of them. One cannot think that we won only because Roma were reduced to ten men. We played very well against 11 men too, and would have won as well. I expected a result like this because I have trust in my team; I trust in our preparations, in the atmosphere at our stadium, in our supporters.

Vincenzo Montella, Roma coach
Ahead of the game I asked my players to prove that we are improving regardless of the result and qualification. I'm satisfied because the approach was very good and we played very well while it was 11 against 11. Then Mexès was sent off and it's difficult to play at this level with ten men, especially against a side like Shakhtar: they are very good at keeping possession and use all parts of the pitch.

We played a good game but once again we finished with ten men and we had a few players booked for fouls we could have avoided. I think we are improving and we shouldn't be demoralised by this defeat – that was the main problem in the team when I arrived.