Martin Jol was delighted that Fulham took control of their Europa League play-off tie against Dnipro with a 3-0 first leg victory at Craven Cottage.

Defender Aaron Hughes and a brace from American Clint Dempsey, who started the game up front alongside Bobby Zamora, got the goals to give Fulham a big lead to take to the Ukraine for the second leg next week. The Fulham manager was pleased with the victory, but insisted the tie was still very much alive.

I thought that they had a good team with quality players. Kiev is probably the second best team in the Ukraine and, of course, Shakhtar is the best team, but I think they could be a good third.

Before the game we were focused on the fact that they are a strong team if you let them play, like we did in the last 20 minutes. They are capable of playing good football and we knew that.

You cannot win if you don’t take your chances. We could have scored four or five and they had probably more shots on goal than we liked in the last 20 minutes.

They could have scored a goal as well but I think 3-0 is probably a realistic scoreline. We saw them play a couple of games and even against Shakhtar they looked good, although Shakhtar still scored three goals.

They play good counter-attacking football. They want to play football and we knew that so we knew there would always be space for us. So we reversed that tonight with our full-backs and they probably did not expect that so that was good. Sometimes that happens and you can surprise another team and I think we did that today.

Jol also told the BBC that he hoped reaching the group stages could boost Fulham’s standing in the game.

We want to play in the group stages because it raises the profile of the players and the club. But we have still got one more game to play before that and we have got to try and do a professional job.