FC Shakhtar Donetsk are in position to reach their first European semi-final after goals from Tomáš Hübschman and Jadson put them in control of their UEFA Cup last-eight tie against Olympique de Marseille.
The former European champions were not afraid to attack in Ukraine but it was after perhaps their best spells in each half that Shakhtar claimed their goals. Marseille goalkeeper Steve Mandanda was caught out for the first, though he otherwise produced some fine saves to keep his side in the tie ahead of the return on home soil in France next Thursday.
Shakhtar captain Darijo Srna told uefa.com before the game that it was crucial to keep a clean sheet and coach Mircea Lucescu duly fielded Hübschman and Olexiy Gai to hold the midfield, with Luiz Adriano deployed as a lone striker. Marseille had a surprise defensive selection in the shape of Tyrone Mears, whose groin problem had unexpectedly cleared up, but within two minutes Mandanda had to deny Fernandinho from close range, Renato Civelli doing excellently to clear the ball from the rebound.
OM gradually found their way out of Shakhtar's shackles and on 25 minutes Lorik Cana got his head to Boudewijn Zenden's free-kick but Andriy Pyatov touched away, and the home keeper was then relieved when Mamadou Niang was sent through on goal and hammered a shot on to the post. With six minutes remaining in the half, though, Shakhtar's boisterous supporters were waving their orange flags in celebration when Srna's centre from the right was touched on by Ilsinho to Hübschman, who scored at the second attempt after Mandanda parried his initial effort.
The visitors responded well after the break, and eleven minutes into the half Modeste M'Bami touched the ball on for Bakari Koné, whose effort deflected just wide. From the resulting Benoît Cheyrou corner, Vitorino Hilton's header was saved by Pyatov, who also stopped Cana's follow-up.
For the second time, though, Shakhtar struck against the run of play. Willian, only introduced for Ilsinho two minutes earlier, cut in from the right and found Adriano, who played a one-two with Fernandinho before finding Jadson in space to tap in after 65 minutes. The scorer nearly returned the favour for Adriano, though Mandanda denied the striker and then Willian. The goalkeeper later saved at Adriano's feet, and Marseille pushed hard for an away goal near the end. However, Srna's pre-game wish for a clean sheet was granted, although a booking for Shakhtar defender Mykola Ischenko leaves him suspended for the second leg.