Shakhtar boss Fonseca blames loss on 'lack of courage' rather than penalty call

Manchester City benefited from a refereeing mistake but the Shakhtar Donetsk boss was more concerned by his team’s lacking performance

Shakhtar Donetsk boss Paulo Fonseca says he has bigger concerns than an incorrect penalty call following a 6-0 Champions League hammering at Manchester City, criticising his players for a “lack of courage”.

City benefited from a bizarre decision to award a spot-kick after Raheem Sterling had kicked the turf and fallen to the ground in the box , allowing Gabriel Jesus to score the home side’s second and the first goal of his hat-trick.

But referee Viktor Kassai’s mistake mattered little in the end. 

City continued to dominate following the penalty decision and rolled up four more goals, Jesus scoring a hat-trick on the night and Sterling netting a stunner of his own, to make it six for the second straight outing following Sunday’s 6-1 demolition of Southampton.

The result leaves Shakhtar bottom of Group F with two matches left to play, and Fonseca was in no mood to place blame on anybody other than his own team. 

“There is no sense in saying anything about that penalty after such a result,” Fonseca told Futbol 2 .

“We lost because City are a team at another level, much, much better than us.

“We were far from even trying to do anything [to win]. My team didn’t show themselves well. They didn’t show courage and that has disappointed me most of all.

“You may concede six goals, but it’s even worse if you fear your opponents.

“Our biggest problem was fear, lack of courage. That’s why we didn’t try to build our game like we want to do.

“We still have chances to qualify. We need to win our two remaining games and hope for appropriate results in other games. And we have to try and do it. But it will be very difficult to achieve.”

Despite having just two points from four matches, wins over Hoffenheim and Lyon in their final two matches could still see the Ukrainian side through. 

Fonseca’s outfit took 2-2 draws off of both sides before losing back-to-back Group F matches to Pep Guardiola’s City. 

They will face Hoffenheim on the road at the end of the month before closing out the group stage with Lyon at home in December. 

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