UEFA : Shakhtar Donetsk v Sevilla -reaction and analysis

UEFA : Shakhtar Donetsk v Sevilla -reaction and analysis

Mircea Lucescu admits he has revenge in mind after Shakhtar were paired with a Sevilla side that eliminated the Ukrainian club thanks to goalkeeper Andrés Palop’s dramatic goal nine years ago

2353863_w2Expert analysis: Nick Aitken
On footballing grounds, if Sevilla fans had their choice before the draw then they may well have selected Shakhtar. However, the Ukrainian team will not be taken lightly – they were mighty impressive on Thursday. Keeper David Soria, occasionally shaky, could be set for a real test. Sevilla have strength in depth but they are missing playmaker Éver Banega, and cannot afford to lose Kevin Gameiro – the Frenchman’s quick legs could pose problems to a Shakhtar defence vulnerable to pace.

Facts about the tie

  • The teams met in a sensational round of 16 tie in 2006/07. Enzo Maresca’s late goal earned Sevilla a 2-2 first-leg draw at home but the holders were again trailing 2-1 in the return when goalkeeper Andrés Palop headed in a 94th-minute equaliser. Ernesto Chevantón completed the comeback in extra time and Juande Ramos’s side went on to lift the trophy.
  • Mircea Lucescu was Shakhtar’s coach then and now, and Olexandr Kucher, Vyacheslav Shevchuk and Darijo Srna remain in the Shakhtar squad (Srna missed the second leg). There are no survivors from that tie still with Sevilla.
  • Sevilla have won their last four games against Ukrainian teams, most recently in last season’s final when they beat Dnipro 3-2 in Warsaw. The Spanish team have also had success in Lviv (albeit not at the Arena Lviv), Shakhtar’s European home, beating Karpaty Lviv 1-0 in the 2010 group stage.

Mircea Lucescu, Shakhtar coach
All opponents would have been equally difficult but it will be a little bit more complicated because we play the first leg at home. Nine years ago, Sevilla qualified thanks to unbelievable luck and Palop’s inspiration. Ten more seconds and we would have qualified! But I don’t think about that game anymore; Sevilla aren’t the same team. All the players have left the club since then. We will try to take revenge, but it will be very difficult.

Monchi, Sevilla sporting director
Our aim was to avoid an all-Spanish semi-final: We want an all-Spanish final. The first step has been taken, but now we have to ensure we make it [to Basel]. We’ve been paired with a difficult team but I believe in Sevilla. Shakhtar have very good Brazilian players and also experienced guys like Darijo [Srna] and [Andriy] Pyatov. They are a great team.

Sergei Palkin, Shakhtar CEO
We met Sevilla in 2007 and lost because they had a very strong goalkeeper in Palop, who scored in the last seconds of normal time. Palop is not with Sevilla anymore so I hope we will have a slightly easier task.

Competition pedigree
Last SF: 2014/15 (won 5-0 v Fiorentina)
SF record: W4 L0
UEFA Cup/Europa League best: winners (2006, 2007, 2014, 2015)
This season: W3 D1 L2 F9 A4 (entry: round of 32)
Top scorer: Kevin Gameiro (4)

Shakhtar Donetsk
Last SF: 2008/09 (won 3-2 v Dynamo Kyiv)
SF record: W1 L0
UEFA Cup/Europa League best: winners (2009)
This season: W5 D1 L0 F13 A2 (entry: round of 32)
Top scorer: Darijo Srna, Viktor Kovalenko, Eduardo, Facundo Ferreyra (2)