Lucescu praises Shakhtar defence after victory over Nordsjaelland

The Romanian coach is thrilled that his side have passed their opening Champions League test and singled out the rearguard for special praise
Shakhtar Donestsk coach Mircea Lucescu spoke of his pride at watching his side record a 2-0 victory over FC Nordsjaelland in their Champions League group stage opener.

Two goals from Henrik Mkhitaryan - one in each half - were enough to see off the Danish outfit and leave the 67-year-old coach satisfied with the efforts of his charges.

"Nordsjælland had a good first-half and they tried to control the ball," he told reporters after the game.

"Their players' fitness began to tell after the break and I asked my lads to step it up. I am happy with our defence as we hardly gave anything away, and when your defence play with such assurance that confidence is transmitted to the attack.

"I am happy with the result, we collected an important three points."

Match-winner Mkhitaryan was understandably thrilled with his individual display, but remained level-headed with tough fixtures laying ahead for the Ukrainian outfit.

"I am feeling great at the moment, having scored two goals in my first Champions League game of the season," he enthused.

"But I don't tend to read too much into scoring and try to remain level-headed. It's football and you may only have one chance, so you always have to take it or you may lose."

Brazilian striker Luiz Adriano was equally pleased with the display and felt that their pre-match preparations laid the foundations for the victory.

"[Nordsjælland] were a very good side who knew how to play and they were very well prepared. However, we had done our homework and knew what we needed to do in order to win.

"We had a number of chances to score more goals, but unfortunately we weren't able to take them," he said.