Manchester United conceded a late equalizer in a 1-1 draw with
Shakhtar to take a point from their Group A clash on Wednesday,
giving David Moyes more than any other manager of an English club
returning from a Champions League match in Donetsk.
Moyes didn’t get the morale-boosting win United needed after
sluggish start in the Premier League, but the point was more than
Arsenal, Tottenham and Chelsea managed in previous Champions League
trips to Shakhtar.
?”It was a good point in the Champions League coming here,
they’ve got a great record against English teams here,” Moyes
said. ”The team stood up well tonight, they got a good goal early
… and I thought we looked as if we were going to stop them
scoring; we defended very well.”
Danny Welbeck gave United an unexpected lead in the 18th as he
slid in between two players to finish off after defender Yaroslav
Rakitsky failed to clear Marouane Felliani’s low cross.
But the highlights were rare for United. Shakhtar’s Brazilian
attacking quartet of Douglas Costa, Alex Teixeira, Luiz Adriano and
Taison created numerous chances and the continual threat paid off
in the 76th minute, when Taison finally broke through with a
powerful volley after Nemanja Vidic failed to clear a cross from
”United took advantage of our mistake, it was a chance goal,”
Shakhtar coach Mircea Liucescu said. ”United then sat on its half
of the pitch and played for counterattack. It was our plan to bring
it on in the last 25 minutes, which is why the ball ended up in the
penalty area of United often. Too bad we scored only once.”
Both teams had opportunities. Robin Van Persie tried his luck
first in the 9th with a volley that sailed over the cross bar.
Three minutes later Rakitsky seized possession and sparked an
attack that lead to Luiz Adriano’s narrow miss. A minute later
Teirxeira fell to the pitch in the area but his appeal for a
penalty was ignored.
Rakitskiy’s free kick from 40 meters went just wide in the 50th
minute and, despite relentlessly pressing forward, Shakhtar was
held in check by the stubborn United defense until Taison’s
It wasn’t until the last 5 minutes that Manchester United
goalkeeper David de Gea was forced into making more meaningful
United was playing without Wayne Rooney, who was sidelined after
clashing shins with Welbeck in training, and was coming off an
upset loss to West Bromwich Albion on the weekend.
Moyes said there were positives in the draw, and the fact United
had a share of the lead in the group with four points, but he
wasn’t getting carried away with the result.
?”You have to win other games if we’re going to progress
further in this competition,” he said. ”But I think on paper this
looked a hard away tie and we’ve picked up a good point.”
Welbeck said the draw was a move in the right direction.
?”I don’t think many teams come here and get three points,” he
said. ”We’re a bit disappointed, we’re Manchester United and we
want to win every single game but coming here and getting the
point, you’ve got to be satisfied with it.”