Hoffenheim will learn lessons from Shakhtar draw, insists Nagelsmann
Julian Nagelsmann felt Hoffenheim coped well with a tough baptism to the Champions League group stages despite letting victory slip from their grasp against Shakhtar Donetsk.
The Bundesliga club - who lost to Liverpool in the final round of qualifying in the competition last season - twice surrendered the lead in an absorbing contest at Metalist Stadium on Wednesday.
First-half goals from Florian Grillitsch and Havard Nordtveit seemingly had Hoffenheim on course for three points, only for Maycon's 81st-minute strike to secure the home team a 2-2 draw.
Yet even with the disappointment of conceding late on, Nagelsmann was pleased with the way his players performed on the road and feels they will be better off for the experience as they look to progress from Group F.
"It was our first game of this kind, and it was important to test our qualities and ideas," he told the media.
"We played very well in defence as we defended so deep deliberately. I think it was a very spectacular match.
"We could have scored the third goal but maybe the team was tired in the end. I'm glad for the result overall. The boys fulfilled the tasks I had set before them.
"We've learnt some useful tactical aspects in this game which will help us in future."
"We should've decided the game in the second half, but we lacked being able to attack from the back. We saw a very pure and proper game of football and I'm not disappointed with our performance.."#FCSDTSG pic.twitter.com/9sa6c7uEUv
— TSG Hoffenheim EN (@achtzehn99_en) September 19, 2018
Shakhtar boss Paulo Fonseca was impressed with Hoffenheim, though he admitted his own side gave the visitors a helping hand with some shoddy defending before the interval.
"We expected such a tough game. I had heard that many people didn't believe in Hoffenheim but this team have showed they are capable of playing aggressive and attacking football," the Portuguese said.
"They played very well. We didn't defend in the best way as we gave them lots of space."
Fonseca also defended Andriy Pyatov after the goalkeeper's decision to come off his line to deal with a corner only allowed defender Nordtveit to head Hoffenheim into a 2-1 half-time lead.
"I don't blame Pyatov - he's the best goalkeeper in Ukraine," he added.