Posted: Tuesday October 23, 2012 5:54 PM

Shakhtar beats Chelsea 2-1 in Champions League

Decrease font Decrease font
Enlarge font Enlarge font

DONETSK, Ukraine (AP) -Alex Teixeira scored in the first half and Fernandinho doubled the lead early in the second to give Shakhtar Donetsk a 2-1 victory over defending champion Chelsea in the Champions League on Tuesday.

Teixeira gave Shakhtar an early advantage, scoring only three minutes into the game. Fernandinho scored with a low right-footed shot into the far left corner past a diving Petr Cech in the 52nd minute.

Attacking midfielder Oscar narrowed the gap two minutes from time.

The victory put Shakhtar on top of Group E with seven points. Chelsea, which lost its first match in the competition since going down 3-1 to Napoli in the first leg of the opening knockout stage in March, has four points in second place.

Eden Hazard had perhaps the best chance for Chelsea in the 79th minute. He received a quick cross in his stride, eluded two defenders but his attempt with the outside of his boot was parried by goalkeeper Andriy Pyatov's legs.

Possession was evenly shared with Shakhtar enjoying four percent more of the ball, but the hosts' 17 shots on target dwarfed Chelsea's 11.

Shakhtar has never lost at home to an English club, winning three matches and drawing one.

"We're playing better, and better, this is probably the best game Shakhtar has played,'' Shakhtar coach Mircea Lucescu said. "We played spectacular football. The score easily could have been 4-1 in our favor.

"Now it's time to think about the return match in London. Chelsea opened the match too relaxed, but when they started to press and tried to score, it was too late, we were already in control of the match.'' The two teams will next play in London in two weeks' time, while Nordsjaelland host Juventus on the same day.

"The early goal helped them massively, with a game like that it unsettled us a little bit and we never got into our rhythm,'' Chelsea manager Roberto Di Matteo said.

"I was confident we'd score a goal at least. In the second half we performed better but they punished us with that second goal. We tried to control the midfield with the changes I made to put in Hazard (in place of the injured Frank Lampard) and it was a question of us being too individualistic in the first half, and of being too long and stretched in our play.

"Certainly we have to win our home game against Shakhtar. They were lucky with the first goal with the ricochet near the box. Certainly we have to do better in those situations as a team.''

Shakhtar dominated from the start with some fancy passing and its workhorse ethic.

Teixeira calmly struck the ball past Cech while inside the penalty area after John Terry's block had landed kindly at his feet.

A two-on-two attack developed in the 52nd but Fernandinho shot wide despite having forward Luiz Adriano in support.

Playing a Ukrainian side for the first time, Chelsea struggled to gain possession. What chances it created tended to come undone when forward Fernando Torres lost possession, though he combined with midfielder Oscar on several attempts.

Yet Shakhtar's intensity enabled it to play a neat and tidy game, with several efforts originating from the edge of the area from Willian and Fernandinho throughout the game. Chelsea found it difficult to cover Shakhtar's speedy Brazilian players during their counterattacks.

A quick transition by Shakhtar almost ended badly for Chelsea when Henrik Mkhitaryan faced Cech alone 20 meters out, but instead of firing he erred by hitting a cross that found no one.

 
SI.com
Hot Topics: NBA Playoffs NHL Playoffs Chris Johnson Jameis Winston NFL Draft Michael Sam Aldon Smith
TM & © 2014 Time Inc. A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you. Read our privacy guidelines, your California privacy rights, and ad choices.
SI CoverRead All ArticlesBuy Cover Reprint