CHELSEA 3 vs SHAKHTAR DONETSK 2
CHELSEA manager Roberto di Matteo admitted his side had needed a slice of luck after substitute Victor Moses struck in the fourth minute of stoppage time to give their Champions League defence a huge boost.
Twice the Blues had led, through Fernando Torres and then Oscar’s virtuoso strike, but twice they were pegged back by Willian, a player they have trailed, and a dazzling Shakhtar Donetsk team.
But with all three allotted minutes of added time played, Moses was left unmarked for Juan Mata’s corner and the 21-year-old headed the winner past error-prone visiting goalkeeper Andriy Pyatov.
While they still face a nervy final two rounds of Group E fixtures, not least their next match against Juventus in Turin, the win keeps them in second place and hopeful of reaching the last 16.
“In terms of the timing of the winning goal I would agree there was an element of luck,” said Di Matteo, whose men suffered a damaging 2-1 defeat to the same opponents in Ukraine two weeks ago.
“But, playing against a good team, I thought we deserved to win because we did a lot of good things and we put them under pressure, especially in the first half.
“That is how we scored the first two goals, we applied pressure, so I think we deserved to win ultimately.
Torres gave Chelsea the ideal start in the sixth minute when Pyatov hastily rolled out to his full-back, collected the return pass and attempted a hurried clearance, only for it to ricochet past him and in off the charging Spain striker’s feet.
Shakhtar equalised just three minutes later, however, when two of their Brazilians combined, Fernandinho surging past two defenders into the penalty area and pulling back for Willian to side-foot home.
Pyatov gifted Chelsea a second just before half-time when he careered out of his area and headed straight to Oscar, who controlled with his chest and despatched a languid volley over the stranded keeper from 40 yards.
Di Matteo opted against starting captain John Terry following his domestic four-match ban due to fitness concerns, while the home defence also missed the injured Ashley Cole, who might have prevented Darijo Srna escaping down the right to tee up Willian’s second four minutes after the restart. Shakhtar’s Razvan Rat struck a post before, with hopes of three points seemingly lost, Moses grabbed the latest of winners.