Shakhtar Donetsk 2-1 Manchester City: Champions League – as it happened

Paul Doyle on 6 December 2017

Jamie Jackson’s match report

Full-time: Shakhar 2-1 City

City lose for the first time this season - and it was a deserved defeat, as Shakhtar were superb: they’ll be tough opponents for someone in the last 16; and City will be very different next time we see them, back to full strength.

GOAL! Shakhtar 2-1 City (Aguero pen 90+2)

Perfectly executed by Aguero. He swipes it into the top corner in a way that made it impossible for the keeper to guess his intentions - and even if he had, there’d have been no saving it.

Penalty to City

Butko brings down Jesus, whose feet were too nimble for him.

90 min: Most of the crowd now appears to be wearing Zoro masks. Fonseca is going to have to make good on this vow ...

89 min: City are pushing Shakhtar back as they pursue a consolation goal, at least. But it’s not looking like they’ll get one. Ukrainian resistance is strong.

87 min: A sweeping move by City, thwarted by more splendid defending. Odets beat Jesus to a low cross by Silva.

86 min: Brahim Diaz is a lovely dribbler.

84 min: A terrific tackle by Butko stops Aguero from firing off a shot from close range.

Shakhtar substitution: Kovalenko on, Marlos off.

80 min: Lovely skill by Diaz, who feints and accelerates past Butko on the right wing He scurries along then byline and then tries to beat Pyatov at the near post from an acute angle. But he hits the outside of the post!

79 min: More good play by Adarabioyo, as he keeps pace with Taison before relieving him of the ball.

77 min: Adarabioyo does well to step in and put an end to another fast counter-attack by Shakhtar.

76 min: Rakitskiy curls a 25-yard freekick over the wall but into the arms of Ederson.

74 min: Taison shimmies past Danilo and then lets fly from 20 yards, firing several yards wide.

72 min: Guardiola is looking animated on the sideline, but nowhere near as busy as Shakhtar’s players are on the pitch: they’re a most elegant swarm and full value for this commanding lead.

City substitution: Aguero on, Fernandinho off. That presumably means a switch from a back three to something closer to a 4-4-2.

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68 min: Shakhtar are coming on strong again and look the more likely scorers. So Guardiola has told Aguero to warm up, which is not easy feat as there now appears to be some snow falling.

65 min: Azevedo blazes down the left, eliciting more excited squeals from the home crowd. But his cross is a real let-down.

Shakhtar substitution: Azevedo on, Ismaily off.

City substitution: Diaz on, Sane off. Guess that’s more about Sunday than today.

60 min: There’s one of those counters! When they break at speed, City can’t keep up with them. Poor old Toure is being bypassed in midfield. City are grateful that Ismaily’s low pass into the box from the left is too close to Ederson, who flops down on to it in a grateful heap.

59 min: City are getting well on top now. Shakhtar remains dangerous on the counter but those counters are becoming rare. The home crowd are having to whistle themselves hoarse.

57 min: Danilo, another City player who has been slack so far, hurries down the right to provide an overlap for Silva. The pass duly comes to him and he hammers an inviting low cross into the danger zone. But Pyatov pounces on it.

56 min: After a cross by Sane is cleared, Silva collects the ball on the right and chips it back into the box. he finds Fernandinho, who has a clear header from eight yards ..... but he nods badly wide!

Fernandinho headswide.
Fernandinho headswide. Photograph: Andrew Couldridge/Action Images via Reuters

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56 min: Rakitskiy booked for taking down Jesus.

54 min: Taison runs at the City defence again. They’re properly frightened of him. But he shoots over from 20 yards.

52 min: Shakhtar gives the ball away in midfield. Sane takes it up and slips it off to Toure, who lopes towards the opposing box. he sprays the ball wide to Foden, coming in from the left. But the youngster shanks his attempted cross.

50 min: Silva, who has been very disappointing so far, dabs a feeble cross from the right straight to the first defender.

49 min: Ismaily drives down the left again. But his crosses towards the back post is overhit.

47 min: Sane tries to dribble through a forest of bodies. Foden sprints forward from his left wingback berth to offer assistance. The youngster then picks out a smart ball in to Jesus at the near post. Jesus, with his path to goal blocked by two defenders, wriggles around for a bit and then tries to feed Silva near the penalty spot, but his pass is intercepted.

46 min: Sane has a blast from distance, forcing a decent sae from Pyatov. That’s more like it from City.

46 min: No substitutions during the break. Let’s see if Guardiola has at least managed to stimulate an increase in his players’ intensity.

Half-time: Shakhtar 2-0 City

Thanks to two fine goals and a sizzling performance, Shakthar are on the verge of reaching the knockout stages and ruining this City’s invincible run. What’s Pep going to do about it? He has a strong bench - and he has the Manchester derby on Sunday.

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43 min: Shakhtar one-two their way through City again before Taison dashes past Toure and curls a shot inches over from the edge of the box. There aren’t many teams who make this City side look clunky, but that’s what Shakhtar are doing: they’re tremendously slick.

42 min: Foden bisects the Shakhtar defence with a lovely low pass into the path of Jesus, who suddenly one-on-one with the keeper. The striker does a little shimmy but confuses himself more than Pyatov, who keeps his eyes on the ball and snaffles it, much to the joy of the home crowd.

41 min: Taison hurtles down the left wing, receives a pass and stands a cross up to the back post. Fred meets it with a sharp blast, and it’s deflected out for a corner. Adarabioyo heads clear.

39 min: Toure looked a tad sluggish earlier in the game but he’s up to speed now and starting to exert an encouraging influence for City.

37 min: Nice play by City. Toure lofts a pass towards Jesus, who nods it down for Gundogan. The German takes it on his chest and lets fly with a volley from the edge of the area. Rakitskiy throws himself in front of it to make a top block.

35 min: Superb play by Sane down the left. He tricks and dodges his way past two plays and into the box. Then he tries to cut the ball back for Foden, but he hits it so hard that the youngster can’t possibly control it, instead it rebounds of him and flies high over the bar.

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33 min: Feyenoord have equalised against Napoli. Everything’s coming up Shakhtar!

GOAL! Shakhtar 2-0 City (Ismaily 32)

Marlos dinks a lovely ball over the top of City’s defence. Ederson charges out to try to sweep up ... but he misses the ball ... and Ismaily canters through to tap the ball into the net from 16 yards! Shades of Hart and Bravo there from Ederson, and City’s invincibility is really in peril now. Over to you, Pep!

Ismaily scores the second for Shakhtar.
Ismaily scores the second for Shakhtar. Photograph: Valentyn Ogirenko/Reuters

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30 min: Shakhtar are going for the kill here and their fans are loving it! City, on the other hand, are reeling. They’re finding it difficult to cope with the home side’s speed and slickness, especially on the counter. Good game!

28 min: Taison romps through midfield again, leading a swift counter-attack. he fizzes the ball wide to Bernard, who rips into the left-hand side of the box again. Can he make it 2-0? He lashes a low shot .... straight at Ederson, who reacts smartly to keep it out.

GOAL! Shakhtar 1-0 City (Bernard 26)

Marlos embarks on a nifty dribble towards the City box and then nudges the ball wide to Bernard, who uses the decoy run of Ismaily to buy a couple of yards and then curls a sumptuous shot from near the left-hand corner of the box into the far corner of the goal! It’s a work of beauty. Are City going to come from behind and win 2-1 for the fourth match in a row? Or is their invincibility about to end?

Bernard celebrates scoring the first with teammates.
Bernard celebrates scoring the first with teammates. Photograph: Valentyn Ogirenko/Reuters

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24 min: Adarabioyo receives the ball out near the right-hand touchline, right in front of his manager. He takes the opportunity to demonstrate his composure on the ball, calmly turning away from Rakitskiy. But then he takes a hefty touch and allows the ball to run out of play, straight to Guardiola. Doh!

22 min: Danilo booked for a late tackle on Ismaily.

20 min: Taison, whose hamstring seems to have healed, bursts through midfield, leaving Toure lumbering in his week. He eventually offloads to Marlos, who darts into the box and tries to curl a left-footer towards the far corner. But it’s straight at Ederson, who makes an easy save.

17 min: Since the start the locals have been whistling City every time they take possession. It’s going to be quite the challenge to keep that up if City continue to hog the ball as they are doing now

15 min: City are starting to dominate. But they still haven’t created a real chance. Sane tried to do something about that just now but he didn’t get very far, as Bernard stepped in to take the ball off him as soon as he tried to go past a defender.

13 min: Butko heads away a corner by Sane at the near post.

11 min: Jesus wins a corer down the right for City, as his cross is put behind by Ordets. Sane takes it short to Gundogan, who tries to dribble into the box. But he’s foiled.

10 min: City knock the ball about, trying to sap the energy of the home team rather than seriously threaten them yet.

7 min: A nimble move takes Shakhtar sweeping forward and into the box, where their speed sparks panic among City’s defence. The ball eventually breaks form a scramble to Perreyra, whose shot from 12 yards is blocked by Fernandinho.

6 min: Taison appears to have a sore hamstring. He’s trying to stretch it out but Shakhtar have sent a sub to get stripped already.

4 min: In terms of formation, by the way, Foden is on the left-hand side of midfield while Fernandinho is on buccaneering right-back duty.

3 min: Napoli are already leading at Feyenoord, so Shakhtar more than likely need to get at least a draw from this match. But they already suspected that would be case. And on that note, Taison bog-toes the ball over the bar from 20 yards.

1 min: Shakhtar are already demonstrating the slick one-touch interplay that they showcased in the first half in Manchester...

City are wearing their usual sky blue kit. Shakhtar’s shirt is white but with orange pauldrons, like unit-leader stormtroopers in Star Wars.

The teams are in situ. It sounds like a splendid atmosphere in Kharkiv, where many Shakhtar fans are wearing Zoro masks after their manager declared that he would run around the town dressed as Zoro if Shakhtar qualified.

“Any idea why Pep has burdened several of his first XI with the long trip, even if they are probably going to remain on the bench ?” parps hristopher Jollife. “It seems a missed opportunity to rest about eight players but only De Bruyne (suspension) and Magic Dave (phantom injury certain to heal by Sunday) are given a complete rest.” He’s targeting invincibility, I fancy: he couldn’t bring himself to just throw this game.

Guardiola speaks

“I want to win the game. We have prepared seriously for that, with respect for the opponents and everybody.” About Shakhtar he says: “I came here with Barcelona and Bayern and it was always so so tough. Even with our normal lineup it would have been difficult because they have a lot of talent, with some Brazilian players and a Portuguese manager who I think will be one of the best in the future.”

As you can from the lists below, Guardiola has chucked a couple of rookies into his starting lineup. Tosin Adarabioyo is a 20-year-old centreback who has been at City since the age of five; and Phil Foden is one of the 17-year-olds who scaled to the top of the world with England recently - and today it looks as if he’s going to be deployed in Fabian Delph’s left-back/central midfield role. Or perhaps Danilo will go there and Fernandinho will slot in at right-back. The element of surprise is strong with this one ...

Teams

Shakhtar: Pyatov; Butko, Ordets, Rakitskiy, Ismaily; Fred, Stepanenko; Marlos, Taison, Bernard; Ferreyra

Subs: Shevchenko, Dentinho, Khocholava, Alan Patrick, Petriak, Azevedo, Kovalenko

City: Ederson; Danilo, Adarabioyo, Mangala, Foden; Gundogan, Fernandinho, Touré; B Silva, Jesus, Sané

Subs: Bravo, Walker, Sterling, Aguero, Otamendi, Duhaney, Diaz

Referee: B Bastien (France)

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Preamble

Hello there. Welcome here. Here’s what we’re dealing with today: Shakhtar Donetsk need to get at least a draw from this match (unless Napoli drop points against Feyenoord) in order to follow Manchester City into the knockout stages. So the Ukrainians will be pleased that City are already safely through as group winners and can treat this appointment like nothing more than one of those work bashes where you have to show your face before slinking off home. But is that really how City will approach this? They may have a big date with their neighbours in red this Sunday but they also have a proud unbeaten record to protect.

City have not lost in any competition this season and Pep Guardiola does not seem the sort to give up that record lightly, even if his lineup here is likely to bear little resemblance to the one that will face United. Surely a perfectionist such as Guardiola is aiming for invincibility this season? Real invincibility, not like Arsenal in 2003-04, when Arsene Wenger’s men were indomitable in the Premier League but lost six times in other competitions that season (seven if you include the Community Shield), including once in Ukraine (and twice in the League Cup to Steve McClaren’s Middlesbrough, for goodness sake). No, Guardiola won’t stand for any of that sort of caper. Expect him to seethe and gesticulate like a wild thing if his team don’t perform today. And since Shakhtar showed in the first half in Manchester that they are a slick side when in the groove. This, then, could be an entertaining affair all around.

So don’t go away! Pretty please.

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