Shakhtar go out with heads held high

"We all deserve credit for getting this far," Bernard told after Sevilla ended Shakhtar's UEFA Europa League dream in the semi-finals.

Semi-final highlights: See how Sevilla made it past Shakhtar
Semi-final highlights: See how Sevilla made it past Shakhtar

It could all have been so different for Shakhtar Donetsk. Level at 1-1 just before the interval, Eduardo's neatly-taken goal on 44 minutes cancelling out Kevin Gameiro's early opener for Sevilla, the Ukrainian hopefuls threatened to add another straight away – only for nobody to get on the end of a wicked centre from Marlos.

Thus reprieved, Sevilla flew out the blocks in the second period, scoring again through the irrepressible Gameiro within two minutes of the restart to make it 2-1 on the night and 4-3 on aggregate, Unai Emery's men never relinquished control. "They played a great first half, but we got back into it just before half-time and we had hoped to build on that, but to concede a second goal so soon after the break dealt us a major blow," said ex-Arsenal man Eduardo. "Then came the third goal [from Mariano Ferreira] and that pretty much killed us off."

"We knew how tough a game it was going to be and how strong Sevilla are, so we wanted to stay tight and try and hurt them with our individual quality, but unfortunately tonight it wasn't to be," said Shakhtar's Brazilian midfielder Bernard. "We made a couple of mistakes that turned the tide of the game. Conceding the first goal so early was a blow, then to concede the second so quickly after the start of the second half hurt us badly too.

"Even so, this campaign has been good for the players and the club," added Bernard, signing off on an optimistic note for the team currently second in the Ukrainian league, four points behind Dynamo Kyiv. "I don't think many people would have expected Shakhtar to get to the semi-finals of the Europa League. We've had to leave our stadium in Donetsk, we've lost important players, so we all deserve credit for getting this far."