European Review – Match Day Two

Taison fired home to equalise for Shakhtar
Taison fired home to equalise for Shakhtar

Champions League

Shakhtar entertained The English Champions Manchester United in Match Day Two of the Champions League at the Donbas Arena.  Shakhtar beat Real Sociedad on Match Day One and their draw in the Donetsk Derby will have dented confidence going into the game.  It was a cagey start to the game and Shakhtar felt hard done by when Tom Cleverley clipped Alex Teixeira in the box but the referee failed to award a penalty.  Manchester United then took the lead in the 18th minute, Marouanne Fellaini crossed in and Yarolsav Rakitskyi was unable to clear allowing Danny Welbeck to pounce for the visitors to make it 1:0.  Shakhtar looked comfortable for the remainder of the half as United rarely threatened, but at the same time Shakhtar did not create any significant chances.  Shakhtar started the second half brightly but Yaroslav Rakitskyi could not test David De Gae with his free kick.  De Gae was called into action much more throughout the second half as Shakhtar pressed for an equaliser.  Half chances came and went, including a free kick in a good position blasted into the wall by captain Darijo Srna.  Shakhtar did eventually find the breakthrough in the 76th minute.  Rakitskyi surged forward playing a nice one-two before firing in a low cross, Vidic failed to clear and Taison hit a thunderous strike into the roof of the visitors net to make it 1:1.  Shakhtar had the momentum from this momenle to t and it seemed that United would settle for a point, but Shakhtar again failed to create the decisive chance.  David De Gae was only tested once more as Taison’s cross was deflected forcing the keeper into a smart reactions save.  It may be a missed chance to win for Shakhtar but a point was a fair result and now Shakhtar face a double header with German side Bayer Leverkusen.

Team Pld GD Pts
1 Man Utd 2 2 4
2 Shakhtar Donetsk 2 2 4
3 Bayer 04 Leverkusen 2 -1 3
4 Real Sociedad 2 -3 0

Europa League

Dynamo Kyiv’s fortunes have not improved and the situation for the fallen giants seems to be getting worse by the game as they once again dropped points, this time away at Rapid Vienna.  The game started slowly with the home side struggling to gain momentum.  Dynamo had a few half chances but the first 25 minutes was largely forgettable.  Dynamo then seized the initiative and took the lead on the half hour.  Tremulians put in a low cross from the left hand side which evaded everyone except for Andriy Yarmolenko who was able to latch onto the end of it and fire it into the corner making it 1:0 Dynamo.  Only moments later Dynamo seemingly dusted away all the problems that had previously beset them to double their advantage.  A neat move from Dynamo saw Mbokani try to feed through Belhanda, only for the pass to be intercepted but deflected home by the unfortunate Christopher Dibon.  In the 2nd half Rapid changed the game and really took it to Dynamo and they were swiftly rewarded as Burgstaller pulled a goal back in the 52nd minute.  After this Dynamo seemingly stopped playing and looked out of their depth and out of ideas against Rapid who kept pushing.  It seemed Dynamo were going to hold on for all 3 points but Rapid got just rewards for their efforts deep into stoppage time, another cross from the left hand side was headed home by Trimmel as Dynamo threw away two points.  The result leaves Dynamo with 1 point from a possible 6 and with an uphill task to qualify for the next stage.  A serious re-think is needed at Dynamo before the sinking ship, hits the bottom of the ocean.

P Team Pld GD Pts
1 KRC Genk 2 2 6
2 FC Thun 2 0 3
3 Dynamo Kyiv 2 -1 1
4 SK Rapid Vienna 2 -1 1

The two favourites in Group E met as Dnipro hosted Italian side Fiorentina at the Dnipro-Arena.  The first half was goalless but Dnipro looked the most offensive as Fiorentina produced a solid defensive display.  The goals all came in the second half, firstly with a penalty to Fiorentina due to captain Ruslan Rotans clumsy foul.  Gonzalo Rodriguez made no mistake from the spot as Denys Boyko dived to his left for the Fiorentina play to strike it down the middle.  Dnipro quickly went on the offensive and got their own penalty only 3 minutes later.  The reliable Yevhen Seleznyov made no mistake from the spot, sending the keeper the wrong way to make it 1:1.  Despite Dnipro battling hard it was Fiorentina who took the 3 points in the difficult conditions at the Dnipro Arena.  Experienced midfielded Ambrosini applied his head to a cross in the 72nd minute to grab the winner for the Italian side.  It will be a tough defeat for Dnipro and Juande Ramos to take, but they will be too good for the other sides and should progress to the next stage.

P Team Pd GD Pts
1 Fiorentina 2 4 6
2 FC Dnipro 2 0 3
3 Pandurii Targu-Jiu 2 -1 1
4 Paços de Ferreira 2 -3 1

The week for Ukrainian sides didn’t get better in Odesa as Chornomorets were comfortably beaten by PSV Eindhoven.   PSV took the lead in the 12th minute as Memphis Depay hit a wonder strike from outside the penalty area leaving keeper Bezotosnyi stranded.  Chornomorets struggled against the group favourites and could not produce the quality required to compete with the Dutch opposition.  The Sailors improved in the second half but could not find the equaliser.  Oleksiy Gai had the pick of the chances but Polish goal keeper Titon produced a fine save to stop his effort. As Chornomorets began to lose hope PSV sealed the deal in the 88th minute as Josethon beat Bezotosnyi to a through ball and rounded the keeper to make it 2:0 and 3 points for PSV, rounding off a bad week for the Ukrainian sides in European action.

P Team Pd GD Pts
1 Ludogorets Razgrad 2 5 6
2 PSV 2 0 3
3 FC Chornomorets Odesa 2 -1 3
4 Dinamo Zagreb 2 -4 0

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