FC Shakhtar Donetsk coach Mircea Lucescu praised his players for following his instructions as they put a bad run behind them with a 2-0 win at rueful Real Sociedad de Fútbol.
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Mircea Lucescu, Shakhtar coach
Tactically we were really well-organised. We had studied Real Sociedad pretty well and my advice to the players was to keep disciplined and focused. I am glad they obeyed these instructions. When teams have perfect discipline, then individual skills make the difference as you saw tonight. In this area we have an advantage as Shakhtar have many talented players.
Let's not forget that we played at Real Sociedad after three poor results [two defeats and a draw] in the Ukrainian league. That's why it was very important to recover confidence in ourselves.
In the first half we decided not to take risks, but at the interval we realised we could win, so in the second half we started to play more intensive football. We were making more interceptions and my players were using their pace much better than before the break. We won the battle in the middle of the park and got the result. In my opinion, Real created opportunities only via free-kicks and corners.
Jagoba Arrasate, Real Sociedad coach
We are left with a bitter taste in our mouths. We did enough to take the lead but after they scored they were highly efficient. Yet even then we could have equalised with that effort that came back off the crossbar. We were missing a killer instinct up front.
We already knew this was the best tournament and it is; even though you might do things well, you need some luck and you need to be clinical. We know that in the Champions League these things can happen. The loss makes qualifying that much more difficult but we are not giving up and will go to Germany to face Bayer Leverkusen full of hope.
We are worried about the injury Esteban Granero picked up. His knee went. We will wait for the results of the tests but it doesn't look good. If there is one thing you can count on in our dressing room, it is that the players will lift themselves. Right now we all have our heads down, which is normal. From tomorrow, however, we will be thinking about [our next Liga game against] Málaga. We realise we are facing an exciting but very demanding season.