Barcelona 2-1 Shakhtar Donetsk: Ferran Torres and Fermin Lopez’s first-half goals see Spanish giants win third-straight Champions League Group H match… but they’re made to hold on after Heorhiy Sudakov’s strike
- Xavi’s young stars were dominant thanks to goals from Fermin Lopez and Torres
- But Shakhtar came out in the second-half with renewed fight and scored away
- Listen to the latest episode of Mail Sport’s podcast ‘It’s All Kicking Off!’
Shakhtar Donetsk gave Barcelona an almighty scare with a renewed fight in the second-half in Catalonia.
Ferran Torres opened the scoring for the home side before the half-hour mark, with Fermin Lopez giving the Blaugrana a two-goal cushion just minutes later.
But despite a dominant showing for much of the match, a long-range strike from Heorhiy Sudakov put the Ukrainian team back in the hunt, and unleashed new energy in Marino Pusic’s side.
Xavi Hernandez’s players clung on, however, and secured all three points to top Group H.
Barcelona were in control from the first whistle, and although Lopez initially struck the post in side’s first clear-cut chance, Torres’ leathered strike was eventually confirmed as the opener after a lengthy VAR check.
Barcelona sealed the win at home against the Ukrainian side but had to battle a renewed force in the second-half
Heorhiy Sudakov’s inspired strike came against the run of play but lit a fire inside the Ukraine side on Wednesday evening
Fermin Lopez was a bright spark for Barcelona and deserved more than his solitary goal
Lopez was in revelatory form for Barcelona, and after scoring the team’s second, almost netted a third after striking the post again in the second-half.
Pusic had spent just two days with his side in his new role ahead of matchday but delivered a team talk at half-time that must have inspired the team to attack with renewed force after the break.
Buoyed up by the introduction of young forwards including Newerton Palmares and Kevin Kelsy, Shakhtar caught Barcelona’s young stars off-guard, gunning for the equaliser as the clock ran down.
Captain Taras Stepanenko looked particularly keen to clinch a valuable draw on the road with two late chances – nine years after he scored his last Champions League goal.
But Barcelona hunkered down and neutralised Ukrainian threat on home soil, leaving qualification for the knock-out stages for the first time since 2020 all but assured.
Ferran Torres dedicated his opening goal to his grandmother after it was confirmed by VAR
The striker later found himself on the wrong end of a challenge from Valeriy Bondar that saw the Ukrainian defender pick up a yellow card
Shakhtar’s renewed late fight could see the repeat fixture finish much more closely next month
Barcelona 2-1 Shakhtar Donetsk: match facts
Barcelona: Ter-Stegen, Alonso (Balde), Martinez (Christensen), Araujo, Cancelo, Gundogan, Romeu, Lopez (Casado), Felix (Guiu), Torres, Yamal
Subs not used: Pena, Astralaga, Cubarsi, Fort, Garrido
Goals: Torres (28′), Fermin Lopez (36′)
Manager: Xavi Hernandez
Shakhtar Donetsk: Riznyk, Konoplia, Bondar, Matviyenko, Azarovi, Bondarenko, Stepanenko (Eguinaldo), Zubkov, Sudakov, Kryskiv (Newerton), Sikan (Kelsy)
Subs not used: Rubko, Gocholeishvili, Chygrynskiy, Rakitskyi, Ocheretko, Castilo, Shved, Nazaryna, Topalov
Goals: Sudakov (62′)
Booked: Kryskiv, Konoplia, Bondar
Manager: Marino Pusic
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