David Moyes claims luck prevented Manchester United from earning all three points at Shakhtar Donetsk, despite the fact a huge slice of fortune led to Danny Welbeck’s opener for the visitors.
Moyes claimed Donetsk’s 76th-minute equaliser from Taison was hard on his United side, who were held to a 1-1 draw, per Rob Parrish of Sky Sports:
We carved out a really good chance and Robin (van Persie) was a bit unlucky not to get a second goal and I think if we'd got that we would have seen it out quite easily.
I think their goal goes through Michael Carrick's legs and then goes through one of their players' legs before it reaches Vida (Nemanja Vidic) and they get a ricochet, which gets them the goal, so we were really unlucky to lose a goal.
United led from the 18th minute in Ukraine, although their goal came laced in good fortune as Welbeck pounced on Yaroslav Rakitskiy’s slip to score.
After a sluggish start, Donetsk then controlled large sections of the contest, enjoying 57 percent possession according to ESPNFC. They also limited United to just four efforts on goal.
Welbeck’s shot was the only one that found the target in 90 minutes, although Moyes will point to a sustained rearguard effort as United looked to protect their lead.
Nevertheless, this year’s version of Shakhtar is not a particularly dangerous one. They are currently third in their league and are missing star names like new Chelsea signing Willian, who left the club for Anzhi Makhachkala in January.
Despite their superiority in possession, the home side boasted few individuals to really hurt United, with Douglas Costa flattering to deceive and Darijo Srna producing poor quality from the right flank.
United’s ball retention, or lack of, made it difficult for van Persie to influence matters in attack. As a result, the Red Devils find themselves only a point clear of third-placed Bayer Leverkusen in Group A.
A lack of quality on the ball, rather than luck, was arguably the greater cause for United's failure to win and it would be tough to argue Shakhtar didn't deserve at least a point.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!