Last season, Ukrainian side Shakhtar Donetsk were one of only five teams who managed to beat Manchester City, meaning this Champions League match was set to be interesting. With Kevin De Bruyne back in the starting XI after his injury spell, City followed on from Saturday’s 5-0 win over Burnley in style. They completely dominated the game, and after putting away three goals, became the first English side to win away at Shakhtar Donetsk in a European competition.
City started the game well, and even though Shakhtar had a couple of chances, it was clearly City who were on the front foot. It took a while, but after 30 minutes the deadlock was finally broken by none other than captain David Silva. After Silva’s shot hit the back of the net, and Adam Laporte put away De Bruyne’s corner, the result was pretty much set in stone. Despite Shakhtar regaining some of the possession in the second half, it was not to be for the Ukrainians as Bernardo Silva scored the third goal just 89 seconds after replacing De Bruyne to put the game to bed.
There were no problems in front of goal for City, as they created a total of 24 shots, six on target and four blocked. As well as this, they took control of 53% of the possession and had an overall passing accuracy of 86%.
Not only did they dominate the possession and chances, but they also won 45 duels and 17 aerials, which was more than Shakhtar. The one downside was that they committed 15 fouls over the course of the 90 minutes, but luckily only gained one yellow card.
De Bruyne Starts Strong
After a solid performance on his return to the Etihad on Saturday, it was only a matter of time before we saw De Bruyne back in the City starting line-up. He made his first start in months on Tuesday and what a strong start it was!
He played for 69 minutes of the game before being replaced by Bernardo Silva. During his time on the pitch, De Bruyne proved to be a real attacking threat. After forcing Andriy Pyatov into a save early on, the Belgian went on the claim the assist for Adam Laporte’s goal 35 minutes in. Alongside this, he put in three crosses, won two out of three duels and ended with an impressive 76% passing accuracy.
It wasn’t just his attacking that was impressive, he was also strong defensively. Throughout the 69 minutes he played, he wasn’t dispossessed once and he committed no fouls either.
It’s great to see De Bruyne back in action, especially seeing him performing so well. It appears as if he is trying to make up for all that time he lost to injury, and his efforts are paying off. It will be nice to see him back in weekly action again.
Another incredible performance from City, to give them back-to-back Champions League wins and put them top of the group. Their next outing in the Champions League will be the reverse fixture against Shakhtar at home at the Etihad. After this week’s performance, they should be going into that match full of confidence.
Until then, they’ll be focusing on the Premier League and the League Cup, with their next league match against Tottenham at Wembley Stadium on Monday night. This followed by two home games against Fulham in the cup and Southampton in the league.