At Maccabi, spirits were high after opening a momentous week for the club, one that includes Thursday night's Europa League encounter with Bordeaux and next Monday's derby against Hapoel Tel Aviv, with an important away win at Beitar Jerusalem. 7,200 Maccabi fans came to see the match at Jerusalem's "Teddy" Stadium and infused the entire arena with a "home tie" atmosphere that helped the team do their job.
At the end of the match, Maccabi head coach Paulo Sousa had this to say: "Obviously the early goal made the going easier for us throughout the match, and it was also important for (Rade) Prica, who hasn't succeeded in finding the net in the last few games. He's a good player whose contribution on the pitch is as great as any of the other players. The only thing that was missing from his performances was the goals, he's a player who is constantly growing and improving with every match. I hope he'll help us score more goals in our forthcoming matches in the busy week ahead of us. It's a beautiful stadium here (in Jerusalem) and the atmosphere was amazing, the Beitar fans were fully behind their team but the Maccabi fans, well, they're simply in a class all their own. They support us wherever we go and that's a huge help to the performance of the players as they try to get results".
Central defender Eytan Tibi said: "This was no easy match, Beitar are a good side and I'm glad we managed to jump this hurdle. We were better throughout most of the match, but there were times we took our foot off the gas and maybe that's why they scored, but we'll learn from that in future. I hope that from now on we'll be focused every moment of our matches and more alert to everything that goes on the pitch".
Scorer of Maccabi's second goal, striker Barak Itzhaki, who chose not to celebrate in front of his former club, had this to say about the match: "(Beitar) is a team I know so well, a team I grew up in, so obviously I wouldn't celebrate a goal here, but you know, it's my job to help my team win and I'm very happy we all did it together as a team. We work at it at every practice, this is a well-trained team whose every move on the pitch has been worked on at every practice and we were very happy to score so early on in the match. We do what the coach tells us to and the result is goals".
Striker Rade Prica, who scored the game's first goal, admits that the result was more satisfying than the performance: "We didn't play our best game tonight but we still managed to create chances and we deserved to win. We should have killed the game off much earlier on. Our next match is against Bordeaux , so we mustn't start thinking about next week's derby against Hapoel until that objective has been achieved".