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UEFA Champions League
November 5, 2013
• Donbass Arena, Donets'k
Referee: W. Collum
• Attendance: 50115
That's it from me, Harry Slavin. Thanks to all of you who joined me for this evenings actions. Until next time though, goodbye!
FULL-TIME. SHAKHTAR 0-0 LEVERKUSEN. They huffed and they puffed, but in the end Shakhtar were unable to find a way past their German opponents. Hyypia's side now have the upper hand in the race for the knockout stages and it looks a big ask of Lucescu's side now to better the results of either Bayer on Manchester United in the final two games.
90' + 3'
90' + 3'
Hyypia sends on Robbie Kruse for Sam in order to run down the clock and waste a few more precious seconds.
90' + 2'
ADRIANO!!! The substitute rises highest to meet Srna's cross but his header isn't powerful enough to get past Leno, who saves yet again.
90' + 1'
Into three minutes of added time we go. Is there a final twist in the tale?
To make matters worse, it's the Bundesliga side that are pushing more in these final moments. It would be a real smash-and-grab if they could come away with all three points now.
There is no doubt that Bayer Leverkusen will be the happier if this stays the same. You can see the despair setting in amongst the home fans and players here, they know they've missed a big chance for valuable Group A points this evening.
Hegeler is down in the Donetsk area but referee Collum waves away protest, Replays suggest tat Rakitskiy did get the ball, although he had a fistful of the subs shirt too.
Sam swings in another corner for the visitors but this time the defence is a lot more convincing and Shakhtar can clear.
Leverkusen win a corner after a counterattack down the right. Pyatov comes out to punch but isn't convincing at all as he flaps at the ball. A little heart-in-mouth moment for home fans there.
Into the final 10 minutes we go. That early prediction of plenty of goals looks pretty good now, eh? Can either side find that clinical streak in the dying stages?
A rack of substitutions as both sides look to change the course of the final 10 minutes. Hegeler comes on for Son as Hyypia shakes up things for Leverkusen, while Luiz Adrinao and Taison are on for the hosts in place of Ferreyra and Douglas Costa.
Ilisinho wanders inside from the left and takes aim with his right foot. He doesn't quite get the purchase on the shot he was looking for though and it drifts wide of Leno's far post.
Yellow Card Emre Can
Another booking, this time for the newly-arrived Can, who stops a Donetsk counterattack with a cynical trip on Alex Teixeira.
That is one of things you want to see less of in this competition. Teixeira produces his entry for worst dive of the season just outside the Leverkusen area and Willie Collum is having none of it. A yellow card and deservedly so.
Yellow Card Alex Teixeira
BIG CHANCE FOR SAM!!! The ball breaks to the striker in the box in acres of space. He has time to set himself up, controlling with his knee before volleying goalwards. It isn't hit with much venom though and Pyatov is able to get behind it.
Yellow Card Facundo Ferreyra
Another booking and it's a first for the hosts as Ferreyra is booked for a nasty looking lunge on Can. That looked two-footed and quite frankly a worse connection or reaction from Can could have resulted in red for the striker.
First change of the night from Leverkusen as Castro is replaced by former Bayern Munich man Emre Can.
HUBSCHMAN! The Czech Republic midfielder connects with Ilsinho's lows cross and turns it goalwards, only for Spahic to divert the effort behind with his knee. Big block there, Leno was well beaten.
To be fair, he dominant display from Bernard had withered in the second half and Shakhtar looked in need of some renewed impetus up top. Can Ilsinho provide it?
First subsitituion of the night, and I can only think that Bernard is being withdrawn due to fatigue. He's been one of the hosts' main threats this evening. Anyway, he is replaced by Ilsinho.
Douglas Costa hits the free kick straight into the wall and his second effort is also blocked, this time behind for a corner. Alex Teixeira goes across to take it but, just as every corner that came before from Donetsk, they don't threaten.
Ferreyra causing more problems at the back for Bayer, this time Boenisch loses his bearings and is forced to bring the striker down on the edge of the area. Free kick to Shakhtar and a yellow card for Boenisch.
Yellow Card Sebastian Boenisch
Back down the other end now as the tie begins to really open up. Spahic gets the wrong side of Ferreyra which allows the forward through one-on-one but he spoons his effort over the bar!
Sidney Sam gets the better of Shevchuk and tries to catch the ball on the half volley but it ends up dribbling towards Pyatov's goal. Son meanwhile lets fly from the edge of the area and a wicked deflection almost takes it past the Donetsk keeper.
BOENISCH! The defender connects cleanly enough with a volley from Sam's corner, but it flies just over the bar. Leverkusen slowly strengthening their grip on this game here.
Leverkusen on the other hand certainly look a much better prospect in the second period. Son forces a corner down the left and up come the boys from the back for Bayer.
Shakhtar haven't quite been able to pick up where they left off in the opening period and are setting about finding their rhythm again. Bernard fires in another corner but it's headed clear.
Castro tries to catch Pyatov out by curling it around the far side of the wall, but the keeper is well enough positioned to deal with it and holds the effort.
Rakitskiy is in the thick of it again as he brings down Sam as he drives through the Donetsk half. It's central, and Castro is standing over it once more.
Bayer mount a rare attack down the right and Castro's cross is met at the back post by Bender. The freshly booked midfielder doesn't get the cleanest if contact with it but Ratitskiy still feels it necessary to put the ball behind for a corner.
Srna strikes it but Leno's cleansheet remains impenetrable for now as he gets down to knock the ball away from danger.
Yellow Card Lars Bender
Away we go then. Lucescu's side pick up where they left off and launch an attack straight away. Lars Bender is forced to bring down a marauding Bernard and is booked as a result. Promising free kick for the hosts too.
The teams are back out and Donetsk are ready to get us back up and running.
FOOTBALL FACT-ORY. One of Shakhtar Donetsk's most memorable victory's game against German opposition, when they beat Werder Bremen 2-1 after extra time to life the UEFA Cup in 2009.
Donetsk's domination from the opening period is obvious from the stats at the break. They might have only edged possession, the hosts enjoying 56% of it in the first half, but they racked up 10 efforts on Leno's goal. Hyypia's Leverkusen have only mustered two shots so far.
HALF-TIME. SHAKHTAR 0-0 LEVERKUSEN. It's goalless, but I'm not quite sure how. Donetsk have bombarded Leno's goal throughout the opening half but haven't found a way past Bayer's number one. Even Bayer have missed glaring opportunities, but they'll certainly be the happier side at the break.
Just one minute of added time in Ukraine and we are already into it.
Leno makes one of his more comfortable stops of the evening as he gets down on his haunches to keep out Douglas Costa's long-range daisy-cutter.
Sidney Sam is flattened by Kucher to round off a forgettable opening 45 for the Bayer striker. He's wasted his side's best opportunity but has been left to feed off scraps apart from that chance.
Just five minutes of the opening half remaining. The visitors are dropping deeper and deeper in their attempts to keep Donetsk out before the break. They're still managing to catch their opponents offside though, which is probably more a comment on the poor positioning of Shakhtar's striker Ferreyra.
Leno has to be on his toes again as he flies out of his goal to intercept a through-ball that would have seen Ferreyra clean through. He subsequently thumps the ball downfield but I'd imagine it won't be long until he sees it again.
It's relentless from Lucescu's side at the moment. Leno is barely getting time to get back to his feet between efforts. The German's will only be concentrating on getting to half-time level because at the moment, they're being thrashed 0-0.
They're queuing up for the home side again as Bayer leave their keeper exposed. Bernard wanders in from the left again and tries to curl one into the far corner that Leno is equal to. Srna then fires over from inside the area.
POST!!! Donestsk almost take the lead in bizarre circumstances! Captain Darijo Srna finds space down the right for a cross, but it catches everyone out, including Leno, who can only watch the ball cannon off the frame of the upright!
Bernard goes down in the area under the attention of Donati. The Brazilian is clutching his face but there is minimal contact and referee Collum rightly waves away his protests.
Signs of life finally from Bayer Leverkusen, who are beginning to claim a foothold in proceedings. Can they capitalise on this period of pressure?
SAM! An opening for the visitors but they can't take it, or to be more precise, Sidney Sam can't take it. The forward gets a clear sight of goal as Shevchuk gets himself in a horrible tangle trying to clear, but the German forward can only skew his shot wide of Pyatov's left-hand post.
Castro steps up to take the free kick and strikes it well enough to get it up and over the wall, but Pyatov is across to his right in enough to hold the shot.
Now here's a rare sight. A foray forward from Leverkusen! It's a meaningful one too as it brings about a free kick in a dangerous position after Shevchuk hauls down Son Heung-Min 25-yards from goal.
Another half chance for the hosts as Alex Texeira controls the ball in the area and shifts the ball onto his right foot before striking goalwards. Spahic is there to block the shot though and the danger is cleared once more.
It really is all Donetsk at the moment. Their fans are trying to ramp up the volume to urge their side on. At the moment, you wouldn't be surprised by the hosts opening the scoring soon.
Donetsk win a coupe of corner in quick succession the left and Bernard is across to take them. The German side's defence stands strong for now though as they clear the danger.
Sami Hyypia's side have turned many heads with their impressive start to the season in the Bundesliga but not many would have predicted their defeat at the weekend to Braunschweig and they still look a little shaken by the result in the opening stages here.
Bernard comes off his wing on the left hand-side and attempts to bend an effort into the top corner, but the most expensive player in Ukrainian football is off target on this occasion.
WHAT A SAVE FROM LENO!!! Shakhtar work the ball wide with a fantastic crossfield ball that finds Teixeira. He fires in another delivery that troubles the Bayer defence, and Leno has to be at full stretch to tip away Ferreyra and deny him for the second time this evening.
Not the most open 10 minutes of football either side has seen in the Champions League this season. Shakhtar look hungrier early on. Leverkusen are happy to sit back for the moment.
CHANCE! Teixeira attacks down the left and his cutback is met by Ferreyra. The striker takes a touch before shooting and Leno gets down well to save the effort, which took a slight nick off of Spahic too on its way.
Sidney Sam does indeed whip the ball in but it fails to clear the first man and Shakhtar clear.
A foul on Donati from Bernard on the right wing brings Bayer a free kick in a dangerous position. A chance for the visitors to whip a delivery into the area.
It's a boisterous crowd in Donetsk this evening and they're cheering on a spate of Shakhtar possession early on as the home side control the ball in midfield.
Leverkusen get us under after Scottish Referee Willie Collum gives a short blast on his whistle and we're immediately stopped again by a foul from Srna after just 10 seconds. Hopefully that doesn't set the tone for the evening!
The teams walk out at the Donbass Arena to the familiar chimes of the Champions League tune, we're almost ready to go here in Ukraine.
LEVERKUSEN: (4-3-3) Leno; Boenisch, Toprak, Spahic, Donati; Castro, Rolfes, Bender; Sam, Kiessling, Son Heung-Min.
SHAKHTAR: (4-2-3-1) Pyatov; Shevchuk, Rakitskiy, Kucher, Srna; Hubschman, Fernando; Bernard, Teixeira, Douglas Costa; Ferrerya.
In fact, let's take a look at those starting line-ups shall we? We'll start with the home side.
Both these teams suffered disappointing defeats in the League at the weekend ahead of this Champions League clash, with Donetsk going down 2-0 to midtable Volyn Lutsk and Sami Hyypia's side losing to basement boys Eintracht Braunschweig 1-0 in the Bundesliga. If form is temporary though, class is most definitely permanent, and there is plenty of it on show in both line-ups this evening.
That is of course presuming David Moyes' side don't slip up in Spain. One thing that we can be certain of though is goals. These sides have served up 11 goals between them in their first three matches. Both sides have conceded 5 goals each too, so expect to see the nets bulging left, right and centre in the Donbass Arena this evening.
I'm Harry Slavin and I'll be here to take you through all of tonights thrills and spills from the Donbass Arena in Donetsk, where both teams will be looking to keep pace with Group A leaders Manchester United. A win for the Germans tonight and you feel it may be enough to clinch their place in the round of 16. A win for Mircea Lucescu's side though, and the Ukranians are right back in the driving seat.
We've reached the halfway stage of this year's Champions League group stages. Shakhtar Donetsk and Bayer Leverkusen have both given themselves a chance of qualifying for the latter stages after their first three games and the pair meet tonight in Ukraine in what could a prove a winner-takes-all affair.
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