Head coach of Veres Rivne Yuriy Virt shared his impressions of the Champions League game between Shakhtar Donetsk and Belgian side Antwerp (1-0) with Komanda1.
- It seems that the new Donetsk coach Marino Pušić has already decided on the team he will use in the first part of the season. And if he makes any adjustments to the starting line-up, it will only be in case of injury to one of his players. As it happened with Konoplya, where he was replaced on the right flank of the defence by Georgian legionnaire Gocholeishvili.
As for the tactical formations, there are no experiments so far. "The Miners traditionally operate in a 4-1-4-1 formation. Perhaps we will see something new in the Donetsk team's performance next spring, when Pushic will have a full training period with the team and invite the recruits he needs.
- Yesterday, Shakhtar desperately needed a victory that would guarantee them continued competition in the European Cup battles and preserve their chances of making the play-offs of the most prestigious continental tournament. In your opinion, did Shakhtar play to win in Hamburg?
- Yes, I do. By the way, not only because we scored and created more chances than Antwerp. It was a class victory according to a clear scenario: a quick goal, skilful use of space when the "citizens" rushed to play back with great force. I liked the fact that when Antwerp started to play tougher in the second half, the Miners proved that they were not faint-hearted. And although everything ended in Shakhtar's victory with a minimum score, it felt like everything was under their control, and that the nominal hosts could add to it if necessary.
- Who would you mention among the winners?
- First of all, Matvienko - the author of the decisive goal that ensured order in defence, midfielder Zubkov, who managed not only to attack sharply but also worked in his own half of the field, and goalkeeper Riznyk, who pleased with his concentration and helped out several times.
- And what about Sikan's only striker, who left the pitch without a goal this time?
- Yesterday, he worked productively for the team, moved around a lot, played alongside his teammates. Although, in my opinion, the striker's mission is to threaten the opponent's goal.
- To make it to the knockout rounds of the Champions League, Shakhtar must win against Porto on 13 December at their home ground. Who do you think is the favourite?
- Perhaps, the Portuguese will be unlucky... Although, in my opinion, the hosts will be the favourites. But I believe that there are no invincible teams, nor irreplaceable players. "This season, Shakhtar have already proved that they can beat the giants, as they did recently with Barcelona. So why not do the same in the battle with the lesser-known Porto?