Bobby Zamora might have scored some vital goals this season, but another of last year’s scapegoats Zoltan Gera has certainly proved his worth in Europe this season. The Hungarian had already been enjoying a much better second season at the Cottage by popping up with some crucial goals but his strikes against CSKA Sofia and Basel ensured Fulham’s progress from the group stage and his early goal against Shakhtar Donetsk last night was the perfect start.
It was his third Europa League goal in three consecutive games but Gera was modest enough not to take all the credit.
I have been lucky, I have lots of good balls from my team-mates. I love to play in Europe. I love to play against teams from other countries and the test that presents.
After the early goal, we didn’t get a lot of the ball. Shakhtar Donetsk proved themselves to be a very, very good team with lots of skilful players who were confident with the ball and they put us under a lot of pressure. But in the second-half we started very well and it was much better for us.
The gaffer told us at half-time to keep doing exactly the same. To keep our shape and be patient, because if we go out of our positions Shakhtar are good enough to punish us. So we stuck to our plan and the result was a much better second-half performance.
Bobby is playing with full confidence. He’s very strong and very quick and good with both feet. He’s proving very good for us and hopefully he will keep this form going for the rest of the season and beyond. We’re very happy with Bobby because he’s proving himself to be one of the best strikers in the Premier League.
Gera’s still got his feet on the ground as he looks ahead to the second leg – and Shakhtar’s away goal certainly means his caution is merited.
This isn’t really a great result, because they scored a goal and away goals are very, very important. Now if they score just one at home we are out, so they are in a good position.