Should Robert Lewandowski have started for FC Bayern München? Might FC Shakhtar Donetsk have gone for the kill? UEFA.com's Richard van Poortvliet has his say.
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UEFA.com reporter Richard van Poortvliet gives his thoughts on FC Shakhtar Donetsk's goalless draw at home to FC Bayern München, and wonders what the last-16 second leg in Germany might hold.
Should Lewandowski have started?
It was a frustrating night for Bayern who, despite enjoying plenty of possession, were able to muster just one shot on goal. In the first half the visitors managed to create a couple of very good opportunities, but a bad first touch let down Thomas Müller on both occasions.
Perhaps justifiably, Josep Guardiola elected to put Robert Lewandowski on the bench as the 26-year-old has scored only once since the turn of the year. However, given his eye for goal, one would have expected the Polish international to have buried at least one of the first-half openings that fell to Bayern in a game of few chances.
Should Lucescu have tried to force a win?
It was no surprise that Shakhtar began to tire in the second period as this was their first competitive outing in two and a half months given the Ukrainian winter break. However, with Bayern reduced to ten men with 25 minutes to go, Mircea Lucescu was left with a dilemma: whether to try and force the win that would have given his side a great chance going into the Munich return, or to nullify the away team's potent ability on the break by not committing numbers forward.
In the end the Romanian coach opted for the latter and was essentially correct in doing so, especially considering the lack of match fitness of his players and that his Brazilian attacking quartet had failed to test Manuel Neuer in the Bayern goal.
Shakhtar still have a chance
Lucescu has said that, if Bayern beat Shakhtar, they have every possibility of going on to win the competition. However, the Romanian may be quietly confident that his side can progress to the quarter-finals. Shakhtar neutralised Bayern's rich array of attacking options and, crucially, did not concede a goal at home.
If the Ukrainian champions can defend as well on 11 March – and that is a big 'if' – they may feel they can cause a surprise in Munich. They will be playing on the counterattack, with the onus on Bayern to make the running, and this should suit the likes of Luiz Adriano, who had a very quiet game, and Taison.
Alonso's miserable night
It ought to have been an evening to remember for Xabi Alonso, marking his 100th UEFA Champions League appearance. Instead, the 33-year-old's night ended early after two yellow cards, meaning he will miss the return leg. His absence leaves Guardiola in a selection quandary: will the Spaniard stick to two holding midfielders, possibly playing David Alaba out of position, or as in Saturday's 8-0 thrashing of Hamburger SV, will he use a more adventurous formation, which could signal a starting berth for Lewandowski?
Shevchuk's defensive master class
Not even a cut to the head from Müller's studs could stop Vyacheslav Shevchuk putting in a man-of-the-match performance. Afterwards, the 35-year-old defender said his wound "still hurt", but his excellent display went a long way to thwarting Arjen Robben, Bayern's most troublesome attacker.
The Dutchman has netted four times since Germany's winter break, yet Shevchuk's discipline ensured he was subdued in Ukraine. The left-back did not always stay in position and often followed Robben into the centre of the pitch. However, he successfully kept Bayern's dangerman quiet to help secure a well-deserved draw.