Napoli Out : Shakhtar Shocks City
Napoli crash out as Shakhtar surprise City
Manchester City had already won their previous encounter against the Ukrainian side 2-0 at Etihad in September and now met them at the Metalist Stadium for the last tie of the UEFA Champions League group stages. It was a do-or-die match for Shakhtar Donetsk as a loss would mean Napoli qualify through to the Round of 16 of the much coveted competition. It was City boss Pep Guardiola’s 100th Champions League match in charge and things did not go as he would have hoped as Shakhtar produced a scintillating performance against the Premier League leaders as they edged past 2-1.
Shakhtar Donetsk starting line-up: – A. Pyatov, B. Butko, I. Ordets, Y. Rakitskiy, Ismaily (M. Azevedo 64’), Fred, T. Stepanenko, Marlos (V. Kovalenko 82’), Taison, Bernard, F. Ferreyra (D. Khotcholava 89’)
Man City starting line-up: – Ederson, T. Adarabioyo, Fernandinho (S. Aguero 70’), E. Mangala, Danilo, Y. Toure, I. Gundogan, P. Foden, B. Silva, L. Sane (B. Diaz 62’), G. Jesus
It was obvious that goals would come by as none of Manchester City’s 41 Champions League group matches ended goalless and Donetsk are yet to lose to an English side at home.
Shakhtar struck early in the 26th minute, giving the home side a very important lead after Marlos lays a beautiful pass to Bernard inside the box, who dances past quite a few sky blue shirts to curl a right footed effort towards the goal, leaving City’s latest Brazilian recruit Ederson no chance to get a hand on it. They struck again six minutes later as Marlos kicks the ball high towards Ismaily and seeing Ederson rush out of his position, beautifully runs past the goalie to hit towards an empty net giving the home side a two-goal lead before halftime.
The game saw no more chances really as the defences were able to cut each other’s incomings, the most significant being Jesus hitting the post in the 79th minute. City however pulled one back in injury time as Jesus was fouled inside the opposition box and Aguero converting the penalty with ease, sending Pyatov the wrong way.