Dynamo Kyiv 2-0 Feyenoord
A comfortable win for Dynamo enabled the Ukranians to take a giant leap towards qualification from Group E, and leaves coach Oleksiy Mykhaylychenko confident of progression.
His team are now a clear second, level on points with leaders Juventus, and two points ahead of third placed Feyenoord. “Obviously, I am pleased with tonight’s result, particularly as now everything depends on ourselves,” he said.
But Mykhaylychenko admitted to being surprised at how easy the win over injury hit Feyenoord had been.
“The match was not as difficult as we had anticipated, surprisingly. We did not allow Feyenoord, who came here looking to win, to attack – we forced them on to the defensive, which speaks volumes for the way we played tonight.”
Mykhaylychenko hailed the dominance shown throughout by his side, and credited the defence in particular.
“We were very cautious tonight. We made absolutely no mistakes in defence,” he said, before praising his forwards for their performance too.
“Throughout the whole match, our forwards were faster and more dynamic, and we took our chances well.”
Captain and scorer of Dynamo’s second goal, Valentin Belkevich, also spoke of the ease at which Kyiv thought they had won.
“We have rarely won a Champions League game more easily. Feyenoord did not play as well as they can, but the 2-0 scoreline did not reflect our superiority tonight.
“Next week, we visit Newcastle, which will be tough, and we must focus on that now,” he said, looking ahead to the decisive trip to St James’ Park.
The Dutch now have a mountain to climb in order to qualify, but coach Bert van Marwijk was adamant that Feyenoord are still in with a shout.
“All is not yet lost for us – there is still hope for us in this competition,” he insisted. But they will have to improve on tonight’s showing, and van Marwijk was quick toaccept Dynamo were by far the better side.
“Dynamo played very well, and they were very disciplined and competent. They did not really give us much of a chance to get into the game,” he conceded.
“Dynamo always seemed to be able to find space in which to attack, but none of my players enjoyed that luxury. We knew what to expect before tonight’s game, and we attempted to counter Dynamo’s style of play, but we were not able to do that.”
Newcastle 1-0 Juventus
Newcastle coach Bobby Robson hailed the fighting spirit of his Newcastle side after a 1-0 Group E win over Italian champions Juventus kept alive their slim hopes of qualification.
Newcastle were forced to play 86 minutes of the Saturday’s 5-2 hammering at Blackburn with ten man, and Robson saluted his the response of his players last night.
“There was a lot of resolve and tenacity in the team, and I’m delighted with the way we’ve bounced back,” he said.
“Most of that team played for 90 minutes at Blackburn with 10 men and after getting battered we looked a little tired on Monday morning.”
But unlikely hero Andy Griffin struck just after the hour to send the jubilant St James’ Park crowdinto delirium, and hand Newcastle a priceless win.
“To come back from that (the defeat at Blackburn) by beating Juventus, the top team in this group, is a tremendous achievement and I’m delighted. I understand they haven’t been beaten all season so we’re very proud tonight.”
Robson also praised his team for their willingness to work for the famous win right up until the last kick, but claimed that they could have put the game out of Juve’s reach well before then.
“Overall we were the better side and we deserved it. For 15 minutes in the second half we could have put the game beyond them,” he said.
“Buffon made two great saves from Shearer’s free kick then Nobby Solano’s diagonal drive, but we didn’t get that cushion so we had to work until the last whistle.”
He also hoped that the victory would give United a springboard to kickstart their season again.
“The players have now got something, they’ve got a reward for what they’ve given, and that was crucial to us because now they’ll be walking out there feeling good, with a bit more power in their spring.”
“This was a big scalp for us. We’ve beaten a team of quality. They won the Italian league last year, they haven’t lost this season, and it will do us a power of good.”
Newcastle take on Dynamo Kyiv next Tuesday knowing a repeat performance of last night will give them a good chance of making the next phase, something that had been deemed impossible 24 hours ago. But skipper Alan Shearer refused to get carried away, playing down the club’s chances.
“We have something to aim for. Feyenoord have lost in Kiev and we know that when we go there it will be a real fight rather than a meaningless match,” he said.
“But it is still going to be very tough for us and, to be honest, I still think our chances are slim of qualifying for the next round.”
Beaten Juventus coach Marcello Lippi was not going to rule Newcastle out, and also highlighted Robson’s team’s fighting spirit as their biggest weapon.
“From what I’ve seen, they’ve certainly got the will from the players and the club to do it,” he said. “If they win their remaining matches, they can go through, and they will try to do that.”
Lippi was not despondent in defeat however.
“In the end, I saw a good Juve. We created a lot of scoring opportunities that we simply missed. A couple, especially, were big chances, – Zalayeta hit the bar and the chances for Nedved and Del Piero,” he said.
“It’s a pity, we lost because of a little mistake in defence.”