Cyprus Mail

United hang on to grab 1-1 draw at Shakhtar

File photo: Shakhtar players celebrate

By Tony Goodson

Manchester United were forced to hold on at Shakhtar Donetsk but managed to grab a 1-1 draw in their Champions League Group A match on Wednesday.

United, missing the injured Wayne Rooney but with Robin van Persie back in attack, went ahead after 18 minutes when Marouane Fellaini pulled the ball back for Danny Welbeck to stab home from close range after defender Jaroslav Rakitskiy failed to clear.

But 15 minutes from time Rakitskiy made amends when his forceful run and cross on the left was only half cleared by Nemanja Vidic and Taison crashed the ball home.

The result gives United and Shakhtar four points each at the top of Group A. Bayer Leverkusen are third with three points after a 2-1 home win over Real Sociedad.

“I thought we were really unlucky. We played well and the players did a really good job,” United manager David Moyes told Sky Sports.

“It was a good point against a team who have a great record in the Champions League against English teams.

“I was disappointed we didn’t keep the ball better in the second half and we looked as though we would stop them scoring”, he added.

United always looked in control until the equaliser and Shakhtar rarely troubled Vidic and his defenders.

Shakhtar had plenty of possession but couldn’t make it pay and they rarely troubled David De Gea in the United goal until the equaliser.

But the Ukraine side had strong claims for a first-half penalty waved away by Czech Republic referee Pavel Kralovec after Tom Cleverley caught Alex Teixeira in the tackle.

United missed the strength and forceful running of Rooney who pulled out with a shin injury before the match.

Van Persie was isolated and looked short of match fitness up front as United thought they had done enough for victory before Taison, one of a glut of Brazilians in the Shakhtar squad, struck.

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