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Shakhtar's Taison deprives United of victory

FC Shakhtar Donetsk 1-1 Manchester United FC
Leading through Danny Welbeck's first-half opener, United were pegged back by Taison's powerful strike 14 minutes from time.

Shakhtar's Taison deprives United of victory
Shakhtar's Taison deprives United of victory ©UEFA.com

FC Shakhtar Donetsk and Manchester United FC remain unbeaten in UEFA Champions League Group A after a 1-1 draw at the Donbass Arena.

In a game of few chances, the visitors went ahead in the 18th minute when Danny Welbeck took advantage of a slip by Yaroslav Rakitskiy. The Pitmen seemed to be running out of ideas but gained a share of the spoils with 14 minutes to go, Taison firing an unstoppable shot past David de Gea following an errant clearance from Nemanja Vidić.

After a bright opening quarter of an hour from both sides, United took the lead with what would be the first of only two shots on target in the match for David Moyes's team. When Marouane Fellaini showed an excellent turn of pace to get beyond Tomáš Hübschman, Rakitskiy fell over in attempting to clear and Welbeck was the quickest to react. The England forward scored his sixth of the season in all competitions by stabbing the ball past Andriy Pyatov from close range.

The Red Devils had failed to keep a clean sheet in their previous eight UEFA Champions League games, but De Gea was a virtual spectator in the first half as the Pitmen struggled to convert their pretty approach play into shots on goal.

The hosts' best attacking outlet was an unlikely one, with left-back Vyacheslav Shevchuk endeavouring to get forward at every opportunity. He provided a couple of promising crosses, yet on each occasion there was no team-mate in orange and black to apply the finishing touch.

Ryan Giggs entered the fray midway through the second half for his 145th UEFA Champions League outing and in the process surpassed Raúl González as the leading appearance maker, qualifying included, in Europe's top club competition. The 39-year-old could not help United hold on to their lead, however. 

Mircea Lucescu's charges appeared destined to come up short in their pursuit of a breakthrough, but with 76 minutes on the clock they equalised. Having not looked like scoring, the Ukrainian title holders profited when Vidić could only turn Rakitskiy's left-wing cross into the path of Taison, who rifled a right-footed shot into the roof of the net.

Sensing victory, Lucescu sent on Ilsinho, a striker, for defensive midfielder Fernando. His decision was almost instantly rewarded when Taison went close to grabbing a winner with five minutes to play. His drive from an acute angle took a deflection off Chris Smalling and De Gea had to be at full stretch to turn the ball over the crossbar.