Shakhtar Donetsk manager Luis Castro has shared his delight with how his team handled Inter after their Champions League group stage goalless draw with them on Tuesday evening.
Inter dominated the match in the Ukrainian capital city against the reigning Ukrainian Premier League champions but despite having tonnes of chances, the Nerazzurri were unable to find a breakthrough and had to settle for a second consecutive draw in this year’s edition of the Champions League.
“Immediately after the match in Madrid, I decided that it would be the same team against Inter. We must always be fair in football and encourage the players,” he explained to the gathered media in his post-match press conference following the match at the Kyiv Olympic Stadium.
“It’s one thing to have the same squad, it’s another to play the same game. It was very important to have the same convincing match as with Real Madrid. Between games nothing happened to the players, they were fine so I played with them. The result of our match with Inter was different, but the main aspect was playing on the defensive.”
He was then asked why he feels that his team fared better than they did last time out against Inter when Antonio Conte’s Nerazzurri smashed them 5-0 in the Europa League semi final last season.
“In the Europa League match we did not defend in the best way. We had to cover Lukaku and Martinez, who go through the wings.
“In the game you have to read everything and correct your mistakes. In the Europa League semi final we had a big disappointment. We had to get up, raise our heads and move on.
“It was necessary to build a hierarchy between defence and attack. Inter are one of the best teams in the world with a fantastic attack.
“It would be difficult for any team to play against them. Bondar and Khocholava played great, respected the game plan and kept the defensive line high.
“Real Madrid opened up more space for us. Inter made us make mistakes but I’m happy with how they played against strikers like Lukaku and Martinez.
“I always tell the players that if you can’t win, you must at least not lose. Shakhtar is going through difficult times right now, a large number of games in a row, a heavy recovery of players.
In conclusion the Portuguese boss added: “We started the new season three days after the last one. It is very difficult, we needed more rest. Now the team is recovering, we hope to be able to continue on this path. It is very difficult to plan anything with the Coronavirus in mind.”
Inter will play host to Shakhtar Donetsk on the final match day of the Champions League group stage with that match scheduled to take place on December 9 at San Siro.