FC Shakhtar Donetsk have retained the Ukrainian Premier League title with four games to spare courtesy of a 1-1 draw against FC Metalist Kharkiv.
Mircea Lucescu's side needed just a point to be crowned champions for a fourth consecutive season, yet the script was in danger of being torn up when Marko Dević came back to haunt his former club by opening the scoring on 39 minutes.
However, with time seeping away, Ilsinho lifted the pressure on 84 minutes after taking receipt of Fernandinho's sumptuous through ball and finishing with precision. There was still time for Dević to rattle the woodwork, but Shakhtar held their nerve to ensure an unassailable 15-point lead over second-placed FC Dynamo Kyiv.
"We expected a tough game and that's exactly what we got," said Shakhtar boss Lucescu. "Metalist had plenty of chances to score, created better opportunities and won the individual battles. Things changed after the break, though, with Fernandinho and [Darijo] Srna showing great spirit. They inspired everyone else and in the end it was a fair result."
Goalscorer Ilsinho added: "It's unfortunate that we didn't get the win today, but Metalist are a very strong and skilful opponent. Both teams played well and it brings me great happiness to score the goal that seals the title. Everyone is very happy."
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