FC Porto midfielder Steven Defour and FC Shakhtar Donetsk pair Willian and Eduardo felt Yaroslav Rakitskiy's red card was the turning point in a match which went the hosts' way.
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FC Porto midfielder Steven Defour felt FC Shakhtar Donetsk centre-half Yaroslav Rakitskiy's red card just before half-time was "the turning point of the match" as the Portuguese champions kicked off their Group G campaign with a 2-1 victory. Shakhtar's Willian and Eduardo agreed that the dismissal made things more difficult for the visitors, who ended the match with nine men as Dmytro Chygrynskiy got his marching orders for a second yellow card.
Steven Defour, Porto midfielder
I think that because we missed the penalty and then conceded a goal that it was more difficult. They were two hard things for us but I think we had the right reaction with scoring a goal, and then there was the red card which was the turning point of the match. Then we scored a second goal and killed the game by keeping the ball. It's a very tough group with three teams that have won the UEFA Cup [or the Europa League] recently and APOEL won this evening so they're a very good team also.
João Moutinho, Porto midfielder
We knew it was going to be a tough match for us because Shakhtar are a very good team but in the end I think we pretty much controlled the match. We were unlucky to concede a goal but we were able to mount a comeback and achieve a very important win for our objective, which is to qualify. We kept our heads and kept playing our brand of football even when we were one goal down and the result of that came in the shape of two goals. We are very happy.
Willian, Shakhtar midfielder
We started well and did our job for part of the game as we went ahead, and then Porto managed to draw level, but from the moment we had a player sent off things got harder for us. It's not easy to play away to Porto with ten players for an hour. Porto played very well and we tried our best to get a result here but in the end we couldn't pull it off. This was only the first match of the group and there's still a lot to play for, so we are already thinking about defeating APOEL in our next game.
Eduardo, Shakhtar forward
We were a bit lucky that Porto didn't score from that penalty and that moment relaxed us and we were able to score a goal. We lost a player after they had already drawn level and that made everything more difficult for our team. To play away here with ten men is very hard but now we have to start thinking about our next opponents and forget this defeat. Of course nobody likes to lose but this is a very experienced club and we will find a way to raise our game and live up to our expectations.