FC Basel 1893's contentment at a job well done against FC Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk was tempered by the desire to correct a flaw in their recent UEFA Europa League history. Valentin Stocker praised the Basel coaching staff for giving them the tools to carve out a first-leg win at a snowy St. Jakob-Park, which he orchestrated on the field with a goal and an assist for Marco Streller, who also rated preparation as key to the success. The players need no reminder of the round of 32 two years ago, where a surrendered two-goal advantage against FC Spartak Moskva provides the Swiss champions with the ultimate motivation to finish the job this time around in Ukraine.
Valentin Stocker, Basel midfielder
We have to be thankful to our staff who prepared us very well because it can often be very tough to play against an opponent you don't know well. But through research and videos, we knew almost everything to expect against Dnipro and they played as our coach had told us. We could have been more clinical at the end of two or three counterattacks but the result was very satisfying.
And the reason for this result is our experience in these competitions. Two years ago, we led 2-0 against Spartak and then we lost the game and we told ourselves we won't ever let that happen again.
Marco Streller, Basel forward
A 2-0 against Dnipro is a very good result against a very good team and the result we had wished for before the match. Since Murat Yakin took over in October, we haven't conceded a goal at home, which is impressive. We knew a lot about our opponents – our coaching staff had prepared us very well so we knew Dnipro better than many would think, but they had also organised themselves well. They didn't give us much space, they didn't attack from high up the field, so it was difficult for us to make chances.
Ruslan Rotan, Dnipro midfielder
Today they had better chances, but we have another game and we have to do our best to get to the next stage. It doesn't matter how we played here. We have to forget about this match and analyse our mistakes, obviously. Looking forward, well, I think we can handle it. We have to believe we can do it. It's bad. It's a bad scoreline for us, but there's still hope.
Basel won and we have to congratulate them. They're happy now, and I hope that we will be as happy after the second match. I want to wish our fans a happy holiday – today is Valentine's Day. We wanted to get them a small present, but we didn't manage to. I want to ask them to come on the 21st to support us, and in return we will give them a good game and – what is most important – a good result.
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