Chelsea 3 Shakthar Donetsk 2

By Paul Lagan
Last updated : 07 November 2012

Victor Moses scored a vital last-gasp goal to give Chelsea a 3-2 win over Shakhtar Donetsk to put the Londoners in a strong position to progress out of Group E of the Champions League.

But quite  how the Blues won this match is anybodies guess,

Goals from Fernando Torres, a sublime strike by Oscar and a last-gasp header by substitute Victor Moses sealed the points but the Londoners were second best in just about every other department.

The Ukraine side twice came from behind through a brace of goals from midfielder Willian, one of seven Brazilians on show.

The match was a masterclass of counter-attacking prowess, with the visitors all but the masters.

But Chelsea are nothing but dogged and never panicked and eventually overcame adversity to win one of the most exciting matches seen in recent times at the Bridge. Yaroslav Rakitskiy had the first effort on goal from a 25-yard free kick, which Petr Cech comfortably held.

David Luiz returned the compliment a minute later and Shakhtar's goalkeeper Andriy Pyatov almost spilled it but held it at the second attempt.

But the Blues got the early break through a slice of good fortune on six minutes. Fernando Torres chased down a poor backpass from ?.... and Pyatov could only smack the ball off the Spain striker with the ball bouncing back past the hapless goalkeeper and into the net.

But the visitors were level within three minutes when Willian struck a sweet shot past Cech from just inside the Chelsea penalty area after excellent set up play by Fernandinho who cut back a byline cross perfectly for the Brazil midfielder.

Torres, produced a fine twist and turn inside the Ukraine's side penalty area on 16 minutes but could only prod the ball into the side-netting.

Neither side appeared set up to defend in depth, thus counter-attacks were much in evidence. Although there was much to admire about Shakhtar's patient, controlled possession play.

Chelsea, by contrast, demonstrated an uncharacteristically ponderous approach which ended in the final third of the pitch.

One such move, on 33 minutes, resulted in a long-range effort from Shaltkar's Alex Teixeira, which went inches wide of Cech' s right post as the crowd began to get nervous and frustrated by the visitors' superiority.

Chelsea's second stroke of good fortune came with six minutes of the half remaining. Eden Hazard, on the left, sent in a curling ball towards Torres. but the ball was over-hit and goalkeeper Pyatov raced out and headed clear.

However the ball fell invitingly to midfielder Oscar, 35 yards out.

The mercurial Brazilian, chests the ball down and let fly with an audacious shot which sailed into the back of the net to restore the Londoners' lead.

Oscar was in hand again three minutes later forcing Pyatov into a smart save. Within two minutes of the restart, Shakhtar's sublime, passing game tore Chelsea apart, producing the move of the match, involving at least six players which resulted in Willian tucking home with consummate ease past Cech from close range to level the scores.

Virtually every attack by Shakhtar almost resulted in a goal, and on 53 minutes, Henrik Rat was unlucky to see his drive from 20 years ricochet off Cech's left post.

The Blues' best efforts were reserved for set plays, and Oscar, on 58 minutes, cursed his team mates inability to finish off a fine curling free-kick from wide on the left. The ball fizzled across goal when the merest touch was required.

The frantic pace of the opening exchanges eventually settled down, and the home side enjoyed a period of possession, without producing a cutting edge in the final third.

The Blues thought they had restored the lead on 67 minutes when a Mata free-kick, on the edge of the penalty area, on the right, was headed powerfully in by Mikel from six yards out. However he was adjudged to be offside and the goal was disallowed.

Chelsea thought they had a fine shout for a penalty with 18 minutes to go after Ramires appeared to be bundled over in the area by Olexandr Kucher, but Spanish referee Carlos Velasco Carballo was unmoved and waved play on.

With Chelsea needing to win, Roberto Di Matteo decided to add some firepower from the wings in the shape of Victor Moses for Oscar on 80 minutes.

Gary Cahill saw his header from a Hazrad corner be cleared off the line by Willian as the home side forced the pace in the closing minutes.

Daniel Sturridge entered the fray with a minute remaining, on for Torres.

But it was Moses who struck as the third minute of added time was about to end and the referee about to blow the final whistle.

A Mata corner was met beautifully on the head of the South Londoner and arrowed its way through a posse of players and into the back of the net.

That was he last action of the game, Chelsea had overcome a powerful foe and must feel that the tide is turning in their favour in their defence of the title.

Teams: Chelsea - Cech, Ivanovic, Luiz Ramires, Torres, Mata, Oscar, Mikel, Hazard, Cahill, Bertrand

Subs - Turnbull, Romeu, Moses, Marin, Sturridge, Terry, Azpilicueta

Shakhtar Donesk - Pyatov, Hubschman, Kucher, Fernandinho, Adriano, Willan, Mkhitaryan, Rat, Teixeira, Srna, Ratkitskiy

Subs - Kanibolotskiy, Stepanenko, Eduardo, Shevchuck, Costa, Chygrynskiy, Ilsinho Ends

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