Shakhtar Donetsk 1-0 Barcelona: Shakhtar hold on to beat lacklustre Barcelona
Xavi’s side were unable to break through at the Volksparkstadion in Hamburg, Germany as Shakhtar snatched a surprise Champions League victory thanks to Danylo Sikan’s sublime finish.
A lopping header in the 40’ from Sikan leaves Christensen and Alonso marking air while Barca attempted 13 shots with only one on target during the whole affair.
This match marked Robert Lewandoski’s worst goal drought since a 10-game spell with Borussia Dortmund between December 2010 and February 2011.
The Pole has failed to score in his last six games in all competitions.
Barca struggled to find their rhythm early on as 18-year-old Newerton and Sikan led Shakhtar’s attacking play.
Shakhar were happy to defend and pick out there chances whereas Barca couldn’t put sequences together or crosses as they failed to register a shot on target in the first half.
Sikan’s 40’ minute header over Marc Andre Ter Stegen was the Ukrainian side’s second on target and it put them 1-0 up going into the break.
Using that momentum in the 56’ minute during the second half, Sikan found himself in behind and tried to drill it past Ter Stegen who was there to block it which could’ve extended Shaktar’s lead.
Realising changes were needed to inspire his side, Xavi made four substitutions by bringing on Joao Felix, Lamine Yamal, Alejandro Balde and Pedri, on for Oriol Romeu, Ferran Torres, Raphinha and Marcos Alonso in the 58’.
From there, Barca played higher up the pitch with Shakhtar sitting deep in a 4-5-1 with Los Cules averaging nearly 80% possession from the changes until the rest of the game.
In the 82’, Yamal appealed for a handball in the opposition area, but the defender had his hands by his side.
Moments after in the 86’, substitute Kevin Kelsy goes one-on-one with Ronald Araujo, who timed his tackle perfectly to save his side from a possible chance at goal.
Newerton who was quiet for most of the second-half, sprung into life in the 88’ where he took on Joao Cancelo, cut in and then wrapped it past Ter Stegen, but was ruled off for offside after a VAR check.
Felix in 95’ does a smooth first time turn past Giorgi Gocholeishvili and looked for the foul, but the referee thought it was not enough contact for the foul.
This loss was Xavi’s second of the season and arguably their worst performance, after an unconvincing win against Real Sociedad last week in LaLiga.
Barcelona still top Group H with nine points while Shakhtar sit in third with six. Barca return to LaLiga where they host Alaves on Sunday 12 November 3:15pm. Shakhtar Donetsk next face Dnipro-1 on the same day at 5pm.
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