Ten-man Shakhtar frustrate Schalke in stalemate

Shakhtar Donetsk 0-0 Schalke
The Ukrainian hosts dug deep to deny André Breitenreiter's side in Donetsk after Olexandr Kucher was sent off in the latter stages.

Highlights: Shakhtar 0-0 Schalke
Highlights: Shakhtar 0-0 Schalke
  • Olexandr Kucher is sent off for second bookable offence on 86 minutes
  • Shakhtar keeper Andriy Pyatov makes litany of saves to deny Schalke
  • German visitors are given indirect free-kick for back pass
  • Ten-man wall denies Johannes Geis from just three metres out
  • Return leg takes place next week before Friday's round of 16 draw

Schalke could not plot a way through a resolute Shakhtar Donetsk defence despite the Ukrainian hosts being reduced to ten men at the Arena Lviv.

Centre-back Olexandr Kucher was dismissed for a second bookable offence after being adjudged to have hauled Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting to the ground with just four minutes remaining.

The German visitors had made a buoyant start but were incapable of taking a precious away goal back to Gelsenkirchen for the return leg next Thursday.

Younes Belhanda had the Shakhtar defence in a daze in the 13th minute, linking up neatly with Choupo-Moting on the right flank, before turning four defenders inside out and forcing Darijo Srna into a goal-line clearance.

Taison, an energetic presence throughout for Mircea Lucescu's Shakhtar, corkscrewed his body in the centre circle to leave Leon Goretzka dumfounded before charging through a deserted Schalke midfield. Viktor Kovalenko was the recipient of his astute cross but the 20-year-old could only drag his effort wide.

Joël Matip thought he had put André Breitenreiter's team in front with 22 minutes remaining yet was punished for bundling Olexandr Gladkiy to the turf before heading into an empty net.

The evening took a turn for the worse for Shakhtar when Maksym Malyshev was adjudged to have made a back pass to the excellent Andriy Pyatov in goal, resulting in an indirect free-kick just three metres out. Johannes Geis, to the Schalke coach's evident dismay, could not squeeze his attempt past the ten-man Shakhtar wall.

As the guests turned the screw in the latter stages, Kucher fouled Choupo-Moting just as the Cameroon international was about to unleash his side's 15th shot on goal. Both clubs, though, had to settle for a stalemate ahead of the second leg in Germany next Thursday.