Shakhtar Donetsk 1-0 Barcelona: Match Review

After an undeserved defeat to Real Madrid, Barcelona found themselves undeserved winners against Real Sociedad this past weekend. On Tuesday night, they returned to action for the first time since the clash in the Basque country.

Pitted against Shakhtar Donetsk in the UEFA Champions League, Barcelona only needed to avoid defeat on the night to secure their qualification to the next round. With a six-point lead over the third-placed team ahead of kickoff, the ball was in their court.

On the night, Xavi Hernandez opted for rotation with good stability on paper. Marc-Andre ter Stegen started in goal with Andreas Christensen and Ronald Araujo in central defence. Joao Cancelo and Marcos Alonso were the two starting full-backs on the night.

Oriol Romeu was assisted by Ilkay Gundogan and Gavi in the middle of the park while Ferran Torres, Raphinha and Robert Lewandowski played as the forward trio.

Barcelona kicked the game off in Hamburg, hoping to replicate their performance against the same opposition last month. The opening minutes indicated nothing less, as Xavi’s men swiftly rushed into attack and generated a threat.

Lewandowski, in fact, had half a chance as early as the opening five minutes. The visitors’ purple patch did not last long. Shakhtar soon began pressing in numbers in midfield and an equal battle soon ensued.

Raphinha’s cross into the centre fell at the feet of Gundogan after a series of interceptions. The former Manchester City star had a go at goal and did not miss by much.

The hosts did not have to wait long for their first big chance. In the 15th minute, a lovely ball over the top had Shakhtar’s Mykola Matvienko in space to make a charge. While his run was good, Ter Stegen did enough to deal with the shot. Just a minute later, Raphinha also came close to scoring from long-range.

From the 20th minute, the game took a turn in the favour of the Ukrainian side. They began utilising the long ball to bypass Barcelona’s lines and found…

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Author : Adithya Eshwarla

Publish date : 2023-11-07 19:41:48

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