Celtic shot down by Shakhtar
Celtic suffered a 2-0 defeat to Shakhtar Donetsk in their UEFA Champions League Group D opener.
Last Updated: 18/09/07 10:56pm
Celtic suffered a 2-0 defeat to Shakhtar Donetsk in their UEFA Champions League Group D opener in Ukraine.
The SPL champions made the worst possible start to their European campaign when conceding twice within the opening 10 minutes.
Brandao slotted home the opener in the fifth minute, and the hosts scored a second through Cristiano Lucarelli moments later.
Celtic improved as the game went on but were unable to bounce back from the early blows and were comfortably beaten by Shakhtar.
Shakhtar had beaten Celtic 3-0 at the same stage of the tournament three seasons ago and they made inroads in to beating that score right from the kick-off.
Celtic skipper Stephen McManus took an uncharacteristic and needless risk at the edge of his own penalty area, giving Fernandinho the chance to put Brandao through on goal and his fellow Brazilian quickly dispatched the ball past Artur Boruc.
Three minutes later, with Celtic in disarray, defender Razvan Rat's deep cross from the left found the head of Lucarelli who guided the ball past the flailing Boruc from 12 yards out.
Another Rat cross from the left found Lucarelli, but this time Boruc saved the Italian's weak effort before Brandao had the ball in the net again, only to be ruled offside, although television pictures suggested the decision was wrong.
As Donetsk pressed again, Darijo Srna drove a powerful volley from wide on the right across the Celtic six-yard box, the ball ricocheting a couple of times before landing in the arms of Boruc.
Celtic's first effort on goal came in the 28th minute, Scott McDonald's drive from the edge of the box being deflected for a corner.
Donetsk defended the set-piece easily enough but moments later Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink should have scored from Shunsuke Nakamura's driven free-kick, the Dutchman heading high over from close range when a goal looked more likely.
There was a short lull in proceedings but in the 39th minute Boruc produced a magnificent diving save from Rodrigues Jadson's volley after yet another fine cross from Srna had found Celtic in tatters.
Shakhtar soon had Celtic on the back foot again in the second period but without the immediate results of the opening half, Srna hitting the side net with an angled drive with his first poor piece of play in the game.
In the 53rd minute Brandao missed a sitter after Mariusz Lewandoswki had sent in a cross straight on to the Brazilian's head.
As the tempo of the game dipped a little to Celtic's advantage, Vennegoor came close with a header, Lee Naylor's first dangerous cross of the game finding the Dutchman free inside the penalty area.
In the 80th minute Castillo drilled in a 25-yard drive which Boruc did brilliantly to parry, Naylor helping his defence with his saving tackle on the lurking Brandao to stop the Brazilian tapping in number three.
Castillo then worked some space at the edge of the Celtic box twice in a couple of minutes, but again fired over on both occasions.
By then the points were safe and Celtic turned their attention to the visit of Milan as their next hope of getting off the mark.
|Shakhtar Donetsk||Team Statistics||Celtic|
|2||1st Half Goals||0|
|7||Shots on Target||4|
|11||Shots off Target||5|