FULL TIME: Shakhtar Donetsk 1-1 Manchester United
Not a classic, but United are a point nearer the knockout stage after a staunch if unimpressive display. They lead the table after a couple of games on goal difference from their hosts. David Moyes would have taken that at the start, no? Especially with the heat being turned up across Manchester after this.
90 min +2: Jones replaces Welbeck. There go the goalscorers!
90 min +1: Bernard comes on for Taison.
90 min: Ferreyra replaces Luiz Adriano. Van Persie wins a corner down the right, and takes it himself. Pyatov punches clear, albeit not in the most convincing manner you'll ever see. There will be two added minutes of this.
89 min: Shakhtar are with the ball, but going nowhere, United keeping a strong shape. Evra creams a clearance down the left. Van Persie is so close to breaking clear, but Rakitskly is over quick to bundle the ball out for a throw. Can United nick this?!
87 min: A wee bit of relief for United, with Rafael dancing down the right. But there's nobody in the middle, and Pyatov claims. Van Persie's opportunistic brilliance aside, United have done nothing up front in this second half.
85 min: This is all Shakhtar. Cleverley's clearance is charged down by Ilsinho. The ball's fed to Luiz Adriano down the right. He can't get a shot in from a tight angle, so lays off to Taison, romping along the byline. Taison skelps a shot goalwards. It twangs off Smalling and nearly loops into the top right, but de Gea tips over. Two corners and one Alex Teixeira header later, the keeper can mop up the danger. United are hanging on here.
84 min: Ilsinho replaces Fernando.
81 min: Srna blooters a low cross through the United area from the right. Valencia clears. Giggs gives the ball away in the middle, it's like Fellaini never left. Teixeira loses control as he attempts to run at United again. United need to clear their heads, they're not in control of themselves or this match at the moment.
79 min: The Shakhtar tails are up now. United can't get hold of the ball at all.
76 min: GOAL!!! Shakhtar Donetsk 1-1 Manchester United (Taison)
It's not a knockout blow, but it's scored by Taison, so. Rakitskly really has repaid his moral debt for United's goal now. He bursts down the left and fires a low cross into the area. Vidic intercepts, but his clearance is awful, the ball passed out to Taison, eight yards out and bombing in from the left. Taison positively roofs the shot. It was straight at de Gea, but the keeper had absolutely no chance whatsoever of saving that point-blank blast.
74 min: The crowd, to their immense credit, are keeping the atmosphere bubbling away, leaping up and down in rhythm of their own songs. Whether their team have as much energy left is a moot point. De Gea has had nothing to do this evening.
71 min: Taison is this close to bringing down a long ball on the right-hand edge of the United area. Smalling wasn't sure what was going on there, but the bounce is kind. United flood up the other end, Rafael making ground down the right. He pulls a low ball inside to van Persie, who feints to the left, then takes a touch the other way, firing s a clever reverse shot towards the bottom-right corner. His switch would have beaten the wrongfooted keeper, but Rakitskly is in position to block the low shot. That's marvellous defending, saving what looked a certain goal, and as such he's repaid his moral debt for his role in Welbeck's goal.
68 min: Srna ghosts past Welbeck down the right. In good space, he hoofs the ground instead of the ball, and for a second looks to have seriously damaged his leg. Sure enough, he's up and running within a minute, and is a 10-1 outside shot to pick up the best supporting actor award at the 86th Academy Awards next spring.
66 min: The dismal Fellaini is replaced by Giggs, who comes on for his 145th appearance in the Champions League. He's now number one in the all-time list, edging past Raul.
65 min: No worries for United, as Srna blasts a witless effort straight into the wall. Captain's prerogative, and all that, but what eejitry.
64 min: Vidic is booked for taking down Douglas Costa in the rugby union style, 20 yards from goal. He can have no complaints about that, what a preposterous challenge. And a free kick in a very dangerous position.
63 min: For the xth time this evening, Shevchuk finds himself with space and time down the left. His low cross evades everyone.
62 min: Fellaini is booked for a late clip on Taison. He goes through the motions of looking shocked at the decision, but you can tell he's not really feeling it. He's having a bit of a shocker, but then you can't complain too much given that assist, so it's been swings and roundabouts for the big man.
61 min: United are taking the sting out of this game magnificently at the moment. Nothing is happening, and it's through design rather than luck.
58 min: United's first period of decent possession since the restart. Carrick keeps things going metronomically, down the left and then down the right. Eventually the ball's sent back to de Gea by Fellaini, the keeper launching long. There goes that, but a big chunk has been taken out of the clock, and Moyes will be happy enough with that.
55 min: Fellaini, his superb work for the goal aside, has been poor for the most part this evening. He again concedes possession cheaply in the middle, allowing the home side to flood upfield. Shevchuk is once more found in acres down the left. His low fizzer is intercepted by Smalling, who mops up superbly under pressure from Luiz Adriano.
52 min: Shevchuk is sent scampering into space down the left. He fizzes a low shot-cum-cross into the area. De Gea goes down to claim bravely, taking a clatter from Evra as his left-back makes sure Teixeira doesn't nip in. United aren't seeing much of the ball, though, and that dangerous move began when the scrappy Fellaini gave it away in the middle of the park.
49 min: Smalling shoves Luiz Adriano in the back, 35 yards from goal. Rakitskly has an ambitious whack, and it's not half bad either, whipped over the wall and towards the top-right corner. De Gea is following its progress and waves it past the post. Never going in, but not as ridiculous as it seemed when Rakitskly was stepping up.
47 min: Pyatov lingers with the ball at his feet, nearly allowing van Persie to whip it from his toe. The keeper manages to dance his way out of trouble, but only just. The home side go up the other end, Fernando nearly slipping Luiz Adriano free into the area, but Vidic steps in to intercept at the crucial moment. A lively, open start to the half.
And we're off again! The home side get things underway for the second time. No changes. Can United become the first English team to beat Shakhtar on their own turf in European competition? "When Ferguson retired, there was talk about how a generation won't have known Manchester United with another manager," begins Jaker Ahmed. "I'd argue there's a smaller number who also won't have first-hand reference of United's claim to be a club that plays attacking football. It's arguably been for a decade or so that United, generally, have served up tired, soulless football by means of entertainment. Even taking into account the Ronaldo team, you could reason that they only played consistently entertaining football in the season before United won their last Champions League. Otherwise, by and large, it's been boring. And it looks like that reign will continue under David Moyes. So far what his Manchester United teams have served up has been pretty shoddy. Oh for the days even neutral commentators had to agree that Manchester United's football was swashbuckling, and the like."
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HALF TIME: Shakhtar Donetsk 0-1 Manchester United
As the whistle blows for the interval, United had eight players in their own area, and another couple very close to it, the home side pushing the visitors right back. Whether this what-we-have-we-hold tactic is the best idea remains to be seen, but United's defence has held up pretty well for the first 45 minutes, and as things stand they're on course for a clear lead in the group.
44 min: Pyatov launches a long hoof upfield. Smalling dummies it back to de Gea; calm play, though he was suddenly spooked by the presence of Luiz Adriano, who he'd failed to notice lurking on his shoulder. The striker was this close to nipping in to intercept. United breathe again.
42 min: A lot of the ball for the home side. United seem fairly happy to sit back and soak it all up.
39 min: Teixeira has a dig from distance, but pearolls the ball straight at de Gea. Very poor. The move started with Fellaini dawdling around in the centre circle as though he was the next Beckenbauer, before being stripped bare by Taison. I'd expect Moyes to have a little chat with him about that during the break, it's not time to get the cigars and brandy out yet.
38 min: Van Persie attempts to crowbar Shakhtar open down the right. He nearly sashays through but has to settle for a corner. Smalling wins a header, but Hubschman eventually clears. "Moyes will never be another Ferguson," suggests Adam Hirst. "He doesn’t even seem to realise that United are not supposed to try and score in Champions League group away matches." He's here all week, ladies and gents, try the varenyky.
36 min: Valencia shoves Shevchuk in the throat, near the left-hand corner flag. It sounds worse than it actually is, though it is a free kick. The ball's whipped towards the near post, where Vidic wins a header and Carrick, after a fashion, blasts clear. United looked unsure of themselves just before the goal, but they've visibly grown in confidence since.
33 min: The referee's determined to keep his card in his pocket. First he had an excuse to book Fellaini, who clipped Teixeira's boot with a high prod, then should have cautioned Srna, after the Shakhtar captain tripped Welbeck as the striker looked to break quickly upfield down the left wing. But nothing is flashed.
31 min: The first display of frustration by the home fans, who whistle in the 'Frustrated' style as United ping the ball around the middle of the park, keeping possession and causing strife their only aim. Their plan is working well.
28 min: Douglas Costa draws three United defenders towards him before releasing Srna into acres of space down the right. The resulting action involves the worst attempt at a cross in the history of Association Football and a big red embarrassed face.
26 min: Free kick to Shakhtar down the right. Srna whips a low ball into the box. Teixeira's shot is deflected out for a corner. Two set pieces later, United eventually bundle clear. The home side aren't creating much from these corners, but United don't look wholly comfortable in dealing with them, either.
23 min: The home crowd haven't lost faith since the goal. The atmosphere is blistering.
20 min: A decent response by Shakhtar, with Shevchuk faffing around down the left to win a corner. Again United fail to deal with the set piece. Srna attempts to sweep home, ten yards out on the right. Carrick blocks. Rakitskly attempts to make good, but can't get a shot away. Finally Teixeira slaps a hopeless effort miles over the bar for three of the rugby points.
17 min: GOAL!!! Shakhtar Donetsk 0-1 Manchester United (Welbeck)
David Moyes is off the bench and punching the air as United take the lead! Welbeck snaffles a loose ball in the six-yard box, teed up by the clumsy Rakitskly, and sweeps home. The defender, falling backwards by the right-hand post, was forced into that ridiculous error after Fellaini bustled magnificently down the inside-right, clipping the ball into the danger area after powering past Hubschman.
15 min: United nearly add insult to injury by going up the other end and scoring. But not quite. Welbeck powers down the centre and nearly breaks into the area, but the ball clanks off his shin on the edge of the area and away from bother.
14 min: Shakhtar should have had a penalty here. After a period of pressure, balls flung into the area from each wing, the home side win a corner down the right. United can't clear the near-post set piece, and the ball's loose around the penalty spot. Alex Teixeira rushes in from the inside-right position, and is clipped on the ankle by the toe of Cleverley. It would have been a soft one to concede - it wasn't exactly a heavy contact - but if the sheepish look on Cleverley's coupon is anything to go by, United wouldn't have done too much complaining had the referee pointed at the spot. An escape.
12 min: Rakitskly embarks on a Power Meander down the left. Nobody bothers to try to stop him until, belatedly, Fellaini comes across to put on some muscle. Rakitskly attempts to release Alex Teixeira but Evra gets a toe in to divert the through ball back to his keeper.
11 min: The first meaningful attack by Shakhtar. Fernando dances down the right and slides a ball in towards Luiz Adriano. Carrick should intercept but dawdles and the striker picks up possession. Luckily for United, the ball's swung out to Srna, and then fizzed aimlessly through the box. But that's raised the crowd's temperature on a cold night.
8 min: Van Persie is released by a clever Cleverley ball down the inside right. He takes it down from the skies, shifts it to his left, and blooters a shot miles over the bar, leaning back as he tries to steal a march on Rakitskly, the only Shakhtar defender anywhere near the ball.
7 min: Valencia bursts down the right and feeds the ball inside to Van Persie, who looks to turn Kucher on the edge of the area. For a second it looks like the striker's made himself room to rasp one goalwards from the right-hand edge of the D, but he's crowded out.
5 min: Shevchuck concedes a corner down the right, but the resulting set piece is aimless and easily cleared by the home side. "Surely with Rooney injured, this was perfect opportunity to play Shinji Kagawa is his proper position, instead of being marooned out on the left wing?" spits Matthew Wilshaw. "Instead Moyes has opted for Welbeck who was atrocious against City, a midfield 3 of the mundane Michael Carrick, the promising Cleverly and the frustrating Fellaini and Kagawa say firmly on the bench. Juergen Klopp must be loving this, he'll have Kagawa back in Dortmond and tearing teams apart by the end of the January window. And I for one won't begrudge Shinji leaving after the way he's been treated at United."
3 min: I should apologise in advance for the lack of player identification. The television system at Guardian Villas has recently been overhauled by a descendant of John Logie Baird, and the definition on this particular channel isn't the best. To the point that the screen currently looks like one of those Eastern European cartoons transmitted by Channel 4 back in the 1980s to fill time when they couldn't sell any ads. I'll do what I can.
The teams are out! The home side are in their Hull garb, the away team in the all-white of Leeds (well, y'know). The players don't go big on control in the early stages.
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The BIG Rooney story is, of course, that he's not playing. But why, we hear you cry. WHY???????? It's been quite the pre-match affair. First one of the major press agencies claimed he was ill. But United have since confirmed that he's out having taken a knock to the shin in training. It's blown up like a balloon, which can't be good news writes Dr Murray. But United fans need not fret too much; Moyes has just told the Sky Telecast Service that he was going to drop him to the bench anyway. That'll have gone down well Chez Rooney, as the player rubs soothing balm onto his sore leg and throbbing, pulsating, blistering-hot temples.
"So Rooney's phoned in sick then?" chirrups Simon McMahon, squinting between the lines and reading exactly what he wants to read. "How long before Moyes is tempted to do the same?"
No Wayne Rooney for Manchester United. Nobody's sure yet whether he's ill or injured, or ill and injured. Robin van Persie's back, though, so it's swings and roundabouts.
Shakhtar Donetsk: Pyatov, Srna, Kucher, Rakitskiy, Shevchuk, Fernando, Hubschman, Taison, Alex Teixeira, Douglas Costa, Luiz Adriano.
Subs: Kanibolotskiy, Stepanenko, Bernard, Eduardo, Ferreyra, Kryvtsov, Ilsinho.
Manchester United: De Gea, Rafael Da Silva, Smalling, Vidic, Evra, Valencia, Carrick, Fellaini, Cleverley, Welbeck, van Persie.
Subs: Lindegaard, Jones, Giggs, Hernandez, Nani, Young, Kagawa.
Referee: Pavel Kralovec (Czech Republic)
After the thrashing in the Manchester derby, and a first home defeat against West Bromwich Albion since 1978, there's a wee bit of pressure building on Manchester United and David Moyes. Of course in a grown-up and rational world, there shouldn't be; the man's only been in the job for three months, he's seen his team score four times in the one match they've played in Europe this season, they've put their arch rivals Liverpool out of the League Cup, and they're only three points behind hot favourites Manchester City in the Premier League. But you know how people like to go on.
Then again, Manchester United are Manchester United, the bar is set right up there ☝, and this is where we are. Moyes certainly could do with the succour of another three Champions League points, though Shakhtar won't be ready to cough. They've hosted teams from England five times in European competition, and have won four of the matches, drawing the other, most recently seeing off Arsenal in 2010 and reigning champions Chelsea in 2012. They've been struggling in the Ukrainian Premier League this season, by their own haughty standards, but they won their opening fixture in this group, 2-0 at Real Sociedad, and have scored at least once in each of their last 28 games. It's the sort of stern test Moyes could do without.
Kick off: 7.45pm BST, 9.45pm local time.