‘We realised we could beat Real’

Mircea Lucescu says that Shakhtar Donetsk realised at half-time that they could beat Real Sociedad in their Champions League opener.

This Group A match at Anoeta fell 2-0 in the Ukrainians’ favour thanks to second-half goals from Alex Teixeira.

Whilst La Real were generally seen to have had the best of the play, Shakhtar’s Coach suggested post-match that only his side were likely to win.

“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,” Lucescu reflected afterwards, report UEFA’s official website. 

“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 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.”

Tags Lucescu Shakhtar Donetsk