The surprise of this matchday in the Champions League is already a fact. Shakhtar Donetsk beat FC Barcelona 1-0. That is bad news for Antwerp, because the gap with third place is already six points. Wintering in Europe will be particularly difficult. Barcelona has lost its perfect report and misses a first chance of qualifying for the eighth finals.
Barcelona was the first to qualify for the round of 16 in Antwerp’s Champions League group. A draw against Shakhtar Donetsk was enough. Sounds simple, but two weeks ago the Catalans still had a difficult time against the tough Ukrainians.
But Shakhtar is more than a team that only thinks about defending. Sudakov and Sikan quickly created some opportunities together. The well-known pattern at Barcelona: quietly tap around and find an opportunity while playing football. Only they didn’t happen.
When Barça really pushed, full-back Gocholeishvilli was sent unparalleled deep. He reached the end line and presented excellently. The Barça defenders were not alert and Danylo Sikan was able to head in freely.
Xavi stared into space and looked defeated. The Spaniard knew all too well what was going to happen: Shakhtar’s focus was entirely on defense. Just after half-time they had an excellent result through Sikan, but Ter Stegen reduced his angle perfectly.
Barcelona monopolized the ball in the second half, at Shakhtar they went down one by one to buy time. With success, because Barça could no longer find an opening. In minute 86 the disgrace seemed complete when Palmares doubled the score via a counter, but he was one toe offside.
Relief for Xavi and co, but it didn’t matter much anymore. The Ukrainians defended perfectly and scored 1-0. Shakhtar has now already secured six points and is on its way to European wintering. Antwerp gradually needs a miracle not to finish last.
End of second half
Newerton is replaced by Marian Shved
Yellow card for Newerton
VAR: Penalty denied
On a counter, Palmares makes it 0-2, or so it seems. After some hesitation, the linesman raised his flag: offside. Mighty work, but a correct decision.
Barça does not get a penalty
At Barça they see hands in the box, but the Bosnian referee doesn’t want to hear about it. He lets play continue. Barça is now completely pushing Shakhtar away, but cannot find an opening.
Gavi is replaced by Fermin Lopez
Time is slowly running out for Barcelona. They are still trying to pull ahead, but the game is constantly at a standstill. Every minute or so a Ukrainian drops down to buy time. Frustrating for the Catalans.
Taras Stepanenko is replaced by Egor Nazaryna
Danylo Sikan is replaced by Kevin Kelsy
Goalscorer Sikan left the field in tears
Danylo Sikan had the night of his life after his goal in the first half. After a duel he landed badly, so he can no longer continue. Quite a downer. The striker walks off the field in tears.
Xavi brings 4(!) new names
Xavi becomes a bit nervous and makes four substitutions. Baldé, Joao Felix, Pedri and Yamal come on.
Marcos Alonso is replaced by Alejandro Balde
Raphinha is replaced by Lamine Yamal
Ferran Torres is replaced by João Félix
Oriol Romeu is replaced by Pedri
Barcelona insists. Lewandowski falls just short on a cross.
Ter Stegen keeps Barcelona straight! Sinkin is passed the ball again in the box, but has to kick from too sharp an angle. He is still doing surprisingly well, but Ter Stegen intervenes excellently.
Second half kicked off
We started it again in the Volksparkstadion Hamburg. Will Barcelona recover in the second half?
End of first half
The Bosnian referee Peljto ends the first half. Danylo Sinkin surprisingly gave Shakhtar the lead. Will Barça respond in the second half? They need at least a draw to qualify for the eighth finals.
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