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Athletic and Shakhtar get the 'big thumbs-up'

Mircea Lucescu summed it up, saying "after this I know we are in the Champions League" as Athletic Club and FC Shakhtar Donetsk played out a breathless draw.

Mircea Lucescu and Ernesto Valverde gesture in Bilbao
Mircea Lucescu and Ernesto Valverde gesture in Bilbao ©AFP/Getty Images

Mikel Rico says a 0-0 draw with Shakhtar represents a point gained
Douglas Costa gives the fans and players "a big thumbs-up" for effort
Ernesto Valverde credits Shakhtar for not allowing Athletic to play their game
Mircea Lucescu: "After this I know where we are in the Champions League"

Mikel Rico, Athletic midfielder
This is a point gained, a fair result. In the first half we got into dangerous positions several times but we couldn't get the final pass right. In the second half we found it harder to get forward. It's a good point. We competed well and didn't suffer for our lack of experience [in this competition]. That's one of the virtues of this team: we compete hard and don't let our heads drop.

Luiz Adriano, Shakhtar forward
It was a nice match, with both teams trying to score and both teams deserve praise. Unfortunately, a goal didn't come our way, even though I think we probably edged the match and maybe deserved the win – particularly as we put them under pressure high up the pitch. We're not looking far ahead [in this competition], we're just focusing on working hard to make sure we qualify from the group. Then we'll see what happens.

Ager Aqueche, Athletic midfielder
Listening to the Champions League hymn as part of this team is once-in-a-lifetime stuff – I can't find the words to describe it. We knew beforehand that the Champions League is a very tough competition and now we just have to keep fighting and keep working hard to try and qualify. Playing in this stadium in front of these fans is incredible.

Douglas Costa is tracked by Iker Muniain
Douglas Costa is tracked by Iker Muniain©AFP/Getty Images

Douglas Costa, Shakhtar midfielder
I think we made a good impression, because we were playing against a good team, in a stadium packed with fans cheering them on. We put in a good performance. We're not used to atmospheres like this, but we leave here happy to have shown plenty of ambition in our play and to have tried to play nice football. I think that everyone, players and the fans, deserve a big thumbs-up.

Gorka Iraizoz, Athletic goalkeeper
When you're at home you're always expected to win, to chase the game and score goals. Today it wasn't to be for us, but we did do a great job defensively. Even so, Shakhtar did create chances and made life difficult for us. We all put in a huge amount of work physically and defensively in order to keep a clean sheet. We all feel proud, because we're like a little family and that's how we show it. That's what matters most right now.

Aymeric Laporte stretches to control
Aymeric Laporte stretches to control©AFP/Getty Images

Ernest Valverde, Athletic coach
We get a hard-earned point but Shakhtar had to suffer, too. It was a very even game. In the Champions League you have to sweat for every point. We could have won, we could have lost. We weren't allowed to play our game as Shakhtar were pushing so hard – the most difficult so far in that respect. Against teams like Barcelona we lost but we had phases where we played our football. Not today.

Mircea Lucescu, Shakhtar coach
A draw was fair. We controlled the game but came up against a strong team that played well. I'm happy with the result because we do not play in as great a league as Athletic. You all know our situation and circumstances at the moment, playing without fans. Not like here in this beautiful stadium with all the fans cheering. After this game I know where we are in the Champions League.