Shakhtar Donetsk vs. Chelsea: Score, Analysis, Grades and More

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Shakhtar Donetsk vs. Chelsea: Score, Analysis, Grades and More
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If you still aren't convinced that it's hard to win on the road in the world of the Champions League, let Shakhtar Donetsk's 2-1 thumping of Chelsea serve as proof.

The defending European champions were solid favorites against the Ukranian Premier League champs, but were thoroughly dominated at Donbass Arena.

With half of group play now over, Shakhtar leads with seven points while Chelsea is sitting in second with fourth. Juventus has three after drawing FC Nordsjaelland, which now has one point. 

For a complete look at Group E, check out ESPN.

It didn't take Hirnyky long to grab the lead in this one. After Chelsea failed to clear the ball from its own box, Alex Teixeira slotted a beautiful finish into the bottom left corner. Just three minutes in, it was 1-0, Shakhtar. 

The rest of the first half moved on with an entertaining, back-and-forth pace.

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Both squads easily could have found the back of the net multiple times, but mistakes and beautiful goalkeeping prevented any more scoring in the first 45 minutes.

But the second half began just like it started for Shakhtar.

Six minutes in, Eden Hazard was dispossessed at midfield, leading to a break for the Ukranian squad. The ball eventually got to the feet of Fernandinho on the right side of the box, who knew exactly what to do with it.

The Brazilian drilled it past Petr Cech to make it 2-0.

Oscar added a goal in the 88th minute off a beautiful grounded cross from Ivanovic to make things interesting for Chelsea, but Shakhtar was able to hold on for the final five minutes. 

In the end, Shakhtar, which got off 23 shots to Chelsea's 11, did what it had to do to win in this impressive performance. 

 

Key Grades

Willian, Shakhtar Donetsk: A

EuroFootball/Getty Images

As I think back on the match, I keep trying to remember an instance where Shakhtar had a legitimate chance at scoring and the play didn't start with Willian.

I just couldn't do it.

The 24-year-old Brazilian only took a few shots of his own, but he made key pass after key pass with jaw-dropping accuracy, went on several important, threatening runs and served as the engineer to Donetsk's overwhelming attack. 

 

Fernandinho, Shakhtar Donetsk: A

EuroFootball/Getty Images

There's no question that Fernandinho was the most dangerous scoring threat in this one.

At times, the talented midfielder disappeared from action, but when he got involved, he was reeling off shots that constantly challenged Cech, who had a very good game to not allow more goals. 

Fernandinho's game-winning goal didn't come as a surprise, as he was a constant threat around the box. With the way he was playing, it would have been more shocking if he didn't find the back of the net. 

What grade does Hazard deserve?

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Eden Hazard, Chelsea: C

To say the least, it was an up-and-down game for arguably Chelsea's brightest star.

The Belgian, as he always did, made numerous defying runs either down the center of the pitch or down the sideline. However, more often than not, those runs ended with a dispossession or bad pass instead of a shot on target or assist opportunity.

Throw in his turnover at midfield that led to Shakhtar's second goal, and it was a night to forget for Hazard. 

 

Oscar, Chelsea: B+

Clive Rose/Getty Images

Chelsea often struggled in the final third, especially with lots of turnovers and poor crosses, but that wasn't because of Oscar. 

The 21-year-old was very solid both on and off the ball before adding Chelsea's lone goal with a clinical finish late in the second half.


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