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Shakhtar Donetsk vs Manchester City at Metalist Stadium

Metalist Stadium Referee : Artur Manuel Soares Dias
18th September 2019 8:00 PM (BST)
  • 0 Shakhtar Donetsk

  • 3 Manchester City

    • ‘24' Riyad Mahrez
    • ‘38' Ilkay Gündogan
    • ‘76' Gabriel Jesus


Commentary By Rob Pollard


More from Pep

"We saw the results yesterday and today, we know how difficult the Champions League is. We defended really well and we created chances.

"To start with three points away is so important, it is in our hands to reach the last 16.

"When you win the manager makes the right decisions, when you lose the wrong decisions. We lost one game in eight months and we will not doubt who these players are. It is a joy to be their manager.

"We prepare for the next one. We don't have many choices in defence, Fernandinho is the only one I have. He is a clever player and an incredible guy. He did it well."



"Ilkay is an exceptional player. He knows how good he has to play because in that position we have many players. We couldn't have won the league the way that we did it without him, especially when he plays in three positions."



"It was a quiet night at the back but the team have made a very good game. It was easier at the back because we played as a team and the guys up front closed down the space.

"I've been training in this position since the start of the season. Pep knows all about our squad and team. Today was my opportunity and I hope I can improve more."



"We played quite well I think. The first goal away helps you but we never relaxed, kept the ball well and created a lot of chances. the result is great for us at a tough ground.

"We had at least a couple of clear chances. But the third goal killed the game and we were able to play down the last 15 minutes.


A very, very accomplished display. 

We weren't at our very best - but we were dominant, rarely troubled and should have scored more than three. 


A very, very swift counter-attack. 

Ball out of defence picked up by De Bruyne on halfway. He carries ti forward, slips in Jesus who makes no mistake. 


De Bruyne with a superb burst forward, right towards the heart of the Shakhtar defence. Tries to slip Jesus in for a simple finish but his pass hits a defender. 

A very good opening. 


Ball int he back of the net from Otamendi's acrobatic effort - but it's ruled out. Sterling offside when the ball initially swung into the box.  


Should have been three. Sterling put through on goal by De Bruyne, he lets it run to Gundogan, who tries to square it back to Sterling for a simple tap in - but the 'keeper is out to deny us. 

Need to be more clinical. 


Gundogan's effort saved - Shakhtar try to clear but the ball comes to Sterling. He looks certain to score but smacks his effort off the post!


Solid display

Given the display on Saturday, which, let's face it, was poor, this has been an ideal response. 

City look sharp, are moving the ball superbly, and have created clear chances. Two great goals scored, too. 

Pep may be concerned that we've been opened up a couple of times, but overall that was a fine 45 minutes.



HT analysis

Excellent first half from City. Shakhtar with one or two decent openings but we've dominated the game and scored two very good goals. 


Taison has been very good. He plays a ball with the outside of his foot that splits open the City defence. Moraes gets there but seems to leave the ball when attempting to round Ederson. 

Strange moment.  


Ederson with a fine save! Best chance for Shakhtar. Taison burst forward, nutmegging Rodri on his way. He gets to the edge of the area and slips in Moraes Junior, who shoots from close range - but Ederson stands firm and saves with his chest. 

Superb stop. 


Gundogan with a fine effort from the edge of the area - strikes the post but lands straight at Mahrez's feet and he lashes the ball home. 



Sterling races clear down the left and crosses for De Bruyne at the back post. He looks certain to score, but Mayvyenko heads clear in the nick of time. 



Sterling fouled. De Bruyne swings a dangerous ball into the box that evades everyone and the 'keeper has to palm away. 

Ref blew for a free-kick anyway. Really not sure what for...


Goals in reserve tonight

Aguero has found the net in City's first five league games of the season, scoring seven goals in all. The Argentinian is the third player to score in the first five matches of a Premier League season after José Antonio Reyes (Arsenal 2004/05) and Wayne Rooney (Manchester United 2011/12).


Pep on Shakhtar

"They are incredible on the counter-attack and playing short.

"Hopefully we can play in good rhythm. The first game in Champions League is important.

"Every time I play against Shakhtar the way they play is very similar. Always it is tough."



This competition is, of course, the one many inside Pep's backroom team crave; the one to complete the set.

The desire to win it is high, but it's so difficult. It's a knock-out competition, which brings an element of luck, and the best teams in world football are all competing, meaning the margins are so fine. 

Tonight won't determine whether we are successful or not, but a positive start will set the right tone. 


Shakhtar form

Shakhtar opened this season with a 2-1 Ukrainian Super Cup loss to Dynamo Kyiv, their third defeat in four years in the competition against their great rivals.

That is Shakhtar's only defeat this season; their first seven league games have brought seven wins, 23 goals scored and only six conceded.

They shipped half that total at home to Zorya on Saturday, recovering from 0-2 down to win 4-3 through a late Júnior Moraes goal, his second of the game.


Competition for places

It shows how competitive this City squad is: Bernardo has one quiet game and Mahrez comes in. 

Fernandinho, it seems, is playing at centre-back alongside Otamendi, with Rodrigo, who I thought was very good at the weekend, anchoring midfield. 

Jesus leads the line. 



John Stones will miss our Champions League game against Shakhtar Donetsk with a thigh injury.

The 25-year-old, who suffered the setback in training on Tuesday morning in Kharkiv, is expected to be out for up to five weeks.


Defensive re-jig?

It seems likely Fernandinho, one of the world’s premium central-midfielders, will now be pressed into emergency action at centre-half.

The 34-year-old has played there on occasion under Guardiola, but is far from a specialist in that role.

But Guardiola does not foresee a problem with the Brazilian moving back into the defence - and the boss has challenged his squad to step up and be counted during a period of adversity.

“No problems,” Guardiola said. “It’s a challenge. Football is not how you handle good situations, but how you handle bad ones.

“We won seven titles and no one gave is anything, we did it ourselves.

“I am ready for the challenge; I like this situation.”


From Pep's press conference yesterday

“John Stones was injured this morning.

"He will be out for a month - 4, 5 weeks. The Problem is muscular.

“It’s a big challenge for me as a manager - it’s an incredible challenge with just one central defender, Nico [Otamendi].

“But I believe a lot in the spirit, the commitment to step forward and solve this problem.

"Fernandinho, and maybe Eric [Garcia] and Taylor [Harwood-Bellis] will come forward for the next few months.

“What we will not do is complain they are not able to play. We have 11 players on the pitch and we make an extra effort. I like this challenge.”


Seven on the spin?

City are aiming to reach the knockout stages for the seventh season in a row; Shakhtar have made it to the last 16 in four of their last eight UEFA Champions League appearances, although they missed out 12 months ago.


More of the same, please

In 2018/19 City won 3-0 in Kharkiv – the first English club to win an away game against Shakhtar – and 6-0 in Manchester, ouir record UEFA Champions League win - although that was subsequently surpassed by the 7-0 defeat of Schalke in the round of 16 second leg.



Good evening, everyone. 

Big game and a need to bounce back after Saturday's disappointment. 

This is a significant fixture. Are you ready? 


Good omens

Right then, Blues. The countdown is on. 

We'll be under way in Kharkiv in just under three hours and 🤞 the action unfolds in a similar way as on our last visit...👇


Kevin De Bruyne 💬

“I think we played brilliantly in the second game against Tottenham and we should have gone through.

“It’s the way it goes – you have to take it and this year, we will be there again.

“It’s not about improving. At the end of the day, it’s just the way it goes.

“We’ve been out in the last four years I’ve been here and three times, it was almost a draw. Against Real Madrid in the semi-finals, it was just one own goal.

“The level is so high that the difference between the teams is so minimal.

“We will try and see what’s going to happen.”


Bernardo Silva 💬

“In a way, it’s the trophy we are missing.

“Obviously, we want to keep going and keep winning things in England. The Premier League is the most important trophy by far and then obviously, the cups if we can.

“The Champions League is a special competition – it’s very difficult to win it – but we want to try and do better than the last two seasons and I think we can do it.”


Team news 🗒

John Stones will miss out with a thigh injury, having suffered the setback in training on Tuesday morning in Kharkiv. The central defender is expected to be out for up to five weeks.

It’s another blow for Pep Guardiola, who is now down to one senior central defender after Stones joined Aymeric Laporte on the sidelines.

It seems likely Fernandinho, one of the world’s premium central-midfielders, will now be pressed into emergency action at centre-half.

The 34-year-old has played there on occasion under Guardiola, but is far from a specialist in that role. 

But Guardiola does not foresee a problem with the Brazilian moving back into the defence - and the boss has challenged his squad to step up and be counted during a period of adversity. 


It's matchday! ⚽

The Champions League is back!

City return to European action with a trip to Shakhtar Donetsk tonight.

It's an 8pm kick-off at the OSK Metalist Stadion and as always, the Matchday Centre is the place to be for all of the pre-match build-up, live coverage and post-match reaction!

Other games that day

  • Olympiakos2
    Tottenham Hotspur2
  • Club Brugge0
  • Paris Saint-Germain3
    Real Madrid0
  • FC Bayern München3
    Crvena Zvezda0
  • Bayer 04 Leverkusen1
    Lokomotiv Moscow2
  • Dinamo Zagreb4
  • Atlético de Madrid2

As it stood

P GD Pts
1 Dinamo Zagreb 1 +4 3
3 Shakhtar Donetsk 1 -3 0
4 Atalanta 1 -4 0
Link To Full Table