Manchester United earn point in Ukraine
David Moyes' men achieved a 1-1 draw against Shakhtar Donetsk at the Donbass Arena
It was a point that Manchester United and David Moyes would gladly have taken before kick-off, especially being without the injured Wayne Rooney, but in the end they will feel that they might just have been able to hang on for that extra 15 minutes, although a point is a fair reflection of the game.
United started the game the far brighter and for the most part defended valiantly throughout, Chris Smalling and Nemanja Vidic both turned in disciplined displays whilst the returning Robin van Persie fired over early on.
Tom Cleverley was fortunate not to give away on penalty when he hacked down Alex Teixeira, but the well-positioned referee was not interested.
United took the lead on 19 minutes when Danny Welbeck turned in the ball from close range after good work Marouane Fellaini. The rest of the half was a rather dour affair as United prepared to brace themselves for the inevitable second-half onslaught.
Yaroslav Rakitskiy was the first to threaten David De Gea’s goal in the second half, sending a curling free-kick just whistling past the goal frame. Vyacheslav Shevchuk was the next to test De Gea, who did well to gather the low cross.
The second half continued in a scrappy manner, with Fellaini and Vidic both getting booked as United tried to contain a Shakhtar side who were growing in stature.
The home side’s efforts paid off when Rakitskiy bombed forward and got a cross in that found it’s way to Taison who rifled it into the roof of the net.
Shakhtar looked the more likely to grab an equaliser and were only denied by a fantastic reaction save by De Gea when a Taison cross was inadvertently flicked goalwards by Smalling.
United will probably be the happier of the two teams, given Shakhtar’s late push, but a point each is fair result and it leaves United top of the group.
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