UEFA.com Player Rater winner Stephan Lichtsteiner praised his side's pre-match preparations, and believes that Juventus out-thought FC Shakhtar Donetsk to secure a hard-earned 1-0 victory and top spot in UEFA Champions League Group E. Giorgio Chiellini hailed his side's belief and adventure in attack, while Shakhtar duo Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Fernandinho cut frustrated figures, suggesting physical and mental fatigue stifled them against "very well organised" opponents.
Stephan Lichtsteiner, Juventus defenderWe knew that Shakhtar are a very good side, but we also knew that we had to attack because it would leave two of their defenders to cover our two strikers. That was our game plan. Our preparations for this game were really good and we created more chances than they did. We only gave them one opportunity in the second half. We have a very good side and of course it's natural that we wanted to qualify from the group. Now we are first and that is really important. We thought we might face Barcelona, but now we will face someone else in the next round.
Giorgio Chiellini, Juventus defender We knew it would be very difficult for us after the draw in Denmark, but we always believed we could qualify but only if we play like Juventus can. Today we played very well against a Shakhtar side that have a number of good players. We did what we had to do, we created a number of good chances to get the win and I think we deserved the victory. If you play for the draw you are likely to lose because Shakhtar have a number of great players that can hurt you. We tried to attack and we tried to win and we are really happy to go through to the next round of the Champions League.
Fernandinho, Shakhtar midfielderThe last match of the group stage is always difficult because not all the players can maintain their physical condition at a high level all the time. The game against Juventus was a really difficult match. We were focused on the task that faced us; unfortunately we were not able to get the result that we needed as we were playing against a side that was very well organised. Both teams were focused on attacking and I think we were just a bit unlucky in the end in that we weren't able to score. We are a bit down at the moment as it would have been better for the team if we had qualified in first place.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Shakhtar forward We have played well in the Champions League, with the exception of our last match against Juventus. We could have played for a draw and we could have qualified top of our group. In the end it didn't quite work out like that. We scored an own goal and there is nothing that we can do about that. The team tried hard to get the desired result and I think we deserved a point in the end, but unfortunately we didn't do enough. Maybe we were a bit tired.
This was our last match before the winter break and perhaps our minds were elsewhere with one eye on our holidays. However, if you put things into perspective, the most important thing is that we are through to the knockout stages. We will wait to see who we are drawn against and will try to get through to the quarter-finals.