FC Shakhtar Donetsk have been crowned Ukrainian champions for the sixth time, following a 2-0 victory against FC Metalurh Donetsk at the Donbass Arena.
In a tight second-city derby, Luiz Adriano made the breakthrough with a goal in added time at the end of the first half. It was his tenth Ukrainian Premier League strike of the season and went some way to easing the nerves of the home supporters, whose side had succumbed to a 3-0 defeat at second-placed FC Dynamo Kyiv on 1 May.
Dynamo had applied more pressure earlier in today by winning 2-1 at FC Karpaty Lviv to reduce Shakhtar's advantage to five points. However, the defending champions responded in style, sealing their 2-0 success, and an unassailable league position, through captain Darijo Srna's late goal. Defender Yaroslav Rakitskiy said: "I hope our fans will forgive us for the Dynamo Kyiv defeat. It was really hard psychologically after that."
Shakhtar president Rinat Akhmetov added: "I've always underlined that the title is not the main goal. The title is a thing that gives us a place in the Champions League. The serious work is only just beginning. It's really important for us to do well in Europe and show our best there. I believe, step by step, we'll come to win the Champions League."
It has been a memorable season for the Miners, who reached the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals for the first time, before losing 6-1 on aggregate to FC Barcelona, and Mircea Lucescu's side remain on course for a domestic double.
Shakhtar face FC Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk in the Ukrainian Cup semi-finals on 11 May, and Rakitskiy added: "Now we have to think about Dnipro. I want to meet Dynamo in the final. I think it would be very different there."
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