Shakhtar Donetsk got its Champions League campaign off to the best possible start with a 2-0 win over FC Nordsjaelland at Donbass Arena on Wedensday.
A brace from Henrik Mkhitaryan was enough to see of the Wild Tigers, in a game which saw the Danes make a good fist of their European debut.
Mircea Lucescu named an attacking starting XI for the game against the Danish champion, with Luiz Adriano, Willian, Ilsinho and Fernandinho all leading the line.
It was the Ukrainian side which made all the early running. Ilsinho catching out Seejou Runje early on, and perhaps should have done better with a cut-back from the byline, that left Mkhitaryan reeling at his Brazilian team-mate.
Slowly though, Kasper Hjulmund's side got back into the game, and started to show some nice touches in and around the area. American fullback Michael Parkhurst put in a decent cross on 20 minutes, but neither Joshua John nor Mikkel Beckmann could get on the end of it.
Still Nordsjaelland came forward, and it was captain Nicolai Stokholm who had the side's best effort of the half on 31 minutes. The 36-year-old surged forward from midfield and struck a sweet shot from 25 yards, only to see Andriy Pyatov palm it away to safety.
All the possession and missed chances though, came back to haunt the Danes on 44 minutes. Luiz Adriano made a smart run down the right side, before feeding in Mkhitaryan to pass home first time from 12 yards.
The second period began in much the same fashion as the first, with Shakhtar having the majority of possession, and not creating too many clear-cut chances.
The best of them though, came on 52 minutes. A corner from Willian went out to Darijo Srna on the edge of the area where he smashed a volley at goal, only to see Jesper Hansen palm the ball away well.
Hjulmund's team was clearly tiring by now, and Shakhtar really should have taken full advantage on the hour-mark. A through ball from Fernandinho went towards Mkhitaryan, but the Armenian forward couldn't poke his effort past the goalkeeper.
The second did eventually come on 77 minutes. Mkhitayran raced through, and tried to lay in Alex Texeira. Patrick Mtiliga though, accidentally played it back to the Armenia international, who dispatched first time to double the scoreline and bag the three points.
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