Reigning European Champion Chelsea, which was looking unbeatable in the English Premier League, suffered a comprehensive 2-1 away loss to Ukrainian champion Shakhtar Donetsk in the UEFA Champions League on Tuesday. Oscar’s 88th minute consolation goal glossed over what should have been a more emphatic score line, as the home team was stronger in just about every facet of the game.
In the postgame press conference, Chelsea boss Roberto Di Matteo admitted as much: "They're a very strong team, particularly at home, and they showed it tonight. But we could have done better as a team,” he said. “We still have a good chance to qualify for the next round but we absolutely have to win our next match at home to Shakhtar."
Shakhtar boss Mircea Lucescu said the game showed his team’s steady improvement in the Champions League: "This is probably the best game Shakhtar hasplayed," the Romanian said. "We played spectacular soccer, and the score could easily have been 4-1 to us.”
Lucescu’s men are now top of Group E with 7 points ahead of the return game between the teams at Stamford Bridge on Nov. 7. In the other Group E fixture, Serie A leader Juventus was surprisingly held 1-1 at Danish side FC Nordsjaelland, a result that left Chelsea in second place behind Shakhtar with 4 points, ahead of Juve in third with 3.