Markus Rosenberg praised Malmo’s battling performance after they defeated Shakhtar Donetsk – a team he believes are almost as good as Champions League Group A rivals Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain.
The forward gave Malmo a 17th-minute lead against Shakhtar and, although the hosts had to defend for long spells of the first half, the Swedish champions held on to that advantage.
A flurry of second-half chances including a saved penalty from Nikola Djurdjic, but Malmo prevailed to leave them in pole position in the race for third spot and a place in the Europa League knockout stages, with Madrid and PSG likely to advance at their expense in the Champions League.
Rosenberg, though, is focussing solely on the return game against Shakhtar next month.
“It’s going to be very difficult,” said the former Werder Bremen forward.
“I believe that Shakhtar are almost as good as Real Madrid and PSG – they have fantastic players.
“We will have to have a good day, like we did [on Wednesday] and we expect an even more difficult game in Ukraine.
“We got lucky that we scored the first goal and the rest of the first half was very difficult for us. They played very well and we came very deep as a team.
“We talked about it at half-time and the second half was much better. We created the best chances of the game – [Jo Inge] Berget had two really good chances.
“They had a lot of ball possession but I think we deserved to win in the end because we created the best chances.”