FC Shakhtar Donetsk defeated an injury-hit Celtic FC thanks to two goals from Matuzalem and one from Brandão to stay in third place in UEFA Champions League Group F. The Scottish side continue their miserable away record in this competition and have yet to win a point in eight attempts on the road.
Matuzalem is Shakhtar's record signing and gave club owner Rinat Akhmetov some value for money with his two goals in a five-minute spell in the second half and a late assist for substitute Brandão. The Brazilian midfield player certainly outshone his compatriot at Celtic, Juninho.
Celtic's injury curse had struck in the build-up to the game, as defenders Ulrik Laursen and Joos Valgaeren and winger Alan Thompson were missing. By half-time, captain Jackie McNamara and Chris Sutton had ended their night injured as well.
John Hartson was Celtic's busiest player in the early stages. He hoisted over a cross that cleared goalkeeper Jan Laštuvka and hit the top of the crossbar before bouncing back into play. The Welsh international then burst past Mariusz Lewandowski and Anatoliy Tymoschuk before crossing for Henri Camara, but the Senegalese forward was tackled before he could shoot.
Hartson was also the first of four Celtic players to be booked early on: the others were Stanislav Varga, Dianbobo Balde and Juninho. McNamara went off with a back spasm after half an hour, with Stephen McManus coming on in his place. Sutton had another half-chance when Laštuvka saved his low shot, before Hartson volleyed over the crossbar from eight metres after Sutton headed the ball into his path.
Shakhtar's early chances were limited to free-kick efforts, from Razvan Rat and Tymoschuk, both of which David Marshall punched clear. The home side almost took the lead before the break, though. Flavius Stoican cut in from the right and crossed for Andriy Vorobey, whose glancing header went agonisingly wide of the post.
Celtic manager Martin O’Neill was forced into another change at half-time. Sutton did not come out for the second half as he was feeling the effects of a powerful volley from a Tymoschuk that struck him full in the face in the first period, and 19-year-old Ross Wallace came on.
With Celtic's resources depleted, it did not take long for Shakhtar to capitalise. Julius Aghahowa set up the first chance, with a run on goal that was blocked on the edge of the area. The loose ball broke to Matuzalem, who hit a first-time left-footed shot from 28 metres that Marshall got a hand to but could not stop flying past him.
Five minutes later, the lead was doubled. This time Zvonimir Vukic was the creator, turning Juninho cleverly before playing a lovely square ball to Matuzalem. The Brazilian's first touch was sublime, and took him between the two centre-backs. He had time to pick his spot before firing right-footed past Marshall.
Brandão nets third
Celtic kept on fighting though Hartson was again guilty of blasting over when unmarked from ten metres. Camara had a penalty claim turned down when he collided with Laštuvka. But Shakhtar added to their lead when Matuzalem set up substitute Brandão, whose delicate chip sailed into the corner of the net to seal the win.
Celtic can point to the losses of McNamara and Sutton for their second-half capitulation but if those two recover their fitness for the return game on 2 November in Glasgow, Celtic fans could yet be confident of opening their account in this season's competition.