Celtic 1-1 Shakhtar Donetsk: Mykhaylo Mudryk stunner ends hosts’ European hopes

Shakhtar Donetsk's Mykhailo Mudryk scores their first goal
Mykhaylo Mudryk’s stunning equalizer earned Shakhtar a draw

A wonder strike from Shakhtar Donetsk’s precocious forward Mykhaylo Mudryk denied Celtic a first Champions League win this term and ended their hopes of European football after Christmas.

Mudryk – who has been linked with Europe’s top clubs – charged forward on the counter and smashed in a stunning equalizer for the Ukrainian side, who could yet reach the last 16.

Giorgos Giakoumakis had rifled in Celtic’s first home goal in the competition for over five hours, but they couldn’t find another.

Kyogo Furuhashi had the best of their chances to get back in front, but the striker shot tamely when clean through, as Celtic threw the kitchen sink at Shakhtar in a bid to find the win which they needed to have a chance of finishing third in Group F and dropping into the Europa League.

Instead, Shakhtar got the draw which ensures they will finish at least third – and potentially second – and the visitors also had the best shot at a winner when Mudryk burst through and squared for Danylo Sikan, who inexplicably failed to tap into an empty net.

Ange Postecoglou’s Celtic will finish last in the section, but will try to leave their mark in their final match against holders Real Madrid at the Bernabeu, while Shakhtar host RB Leipzig in the race for the last 16.

Celtic’s downfall throughout the group stage has been an inability to convert chances when on top alongside having their frantic press picked off later in games.

But at Celtic Park there were fewer clear-cut scoring opportunities, with Giakoumakis’ well-taken finish from close-range marking a more clinical start.

But a well-organized Shakhtar side showed a glimpse of their threat on the break through Mudryk, who was only denied when in on goal by Joe Hart’s outstretched arm just before half-time.

Shakhtar and Mudryk have been one of the stories of the competition having defied expectations throughout, and all of the visitors’ chances came through the 21-year-old with searing pace.

His goal was a stunning moment as he nipped around Cameron Carter-Vickers before cutting inside and blasting the ball into the top corner, and he showed the same quickness when he put the ball on a plate for Sikan, who somehow missed a gaping goal with heavy first touch.

Celtic huffed and puffed until the end, but Matt O’Riley’s side-foot effort wide of the post was the best chance they could muster after Kyogo shot straight at the goalkeeper, following a well-worked move.

It’s been a tough learning curve for the Scottish champions, but they would have expected better from themselves.

Player of the match – Mykhaylo Mudryk

Mykhaylo Mudryk

Celtic struggle to make mark

Celtic’s campaign has been marked by profligacy, but this was not a case of the Scottish champions missing chance after chance.

Kyogo’s miss was the only gilt-edged opportunity which was passed up at Celtic Park. Instead, moves broke down at the final pass or cross.

Part of the credit for that has to go to a well-organized Shakhtar who, with all their documented problems associated with the war in their homeland, have been a feel-good story this season.

They were well set up, and in Mudryk possess a superstar in the making who is so dangerous on the break.

Postecoglou has spoken about testing his style at the highest level in order to improve, and Celtic will definitely need to do that if they get back to this stage next season.

If they can find a more clinical edge and improve their press off the ball in order to stifle teams without leaving gaps, they will make more of a mark.

But there are no guarantees against the best sides, and it relies on both keeping hold of their best players as well as adding quality.

What they said

Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou: “It was a tight game. A lot on the line for both clubs. I thought we were pretty much in control. They caught us on the counter and scored.

“We had a chance with Kyogo – we miss. They had a big chance – they miss. It was a typical, tight Champions League game, but we couldn’t get the result we wanted.”

Celtic midfielder Matt O’Riley: “We’ll try to be back next year with more ruthlessness in front of goal.

“I had one at the end that was a big chance. To be honest, if that’s in the Scottish league, I reckon we score them. Maybe it’s just a bit of anxiety, I’m not sure.”

What’s next?

Celtic are away to Livingston in the Scottish Premiership on Sunday (12:00 GMT), before their final group game against Real Madrid on Wednesday (17:45).

Line-ups

Celtic

Formation 4-4-2

  • 1Hart
  • 88Yuranovic
  • 20Carter-Vickers
  • 6jenz
  • 3Taylor
  • 11AbadaSubstituted forForestat 65′minutes
  • 33O’Riley
  • 41HatateSubstituted forTurnbullat 84′minutes
  • 9HaksabanovichSubstituted forMaedaat 65′minutes
  • 8FuruhashiSubstituted forMooyat 65′minutes
  • 7Giakoumakis

Substitutes

  • 13Mooy
  • 14Turnbull
  • 16McCarthy
  • 25Bernabei
  • 28Abildgard
  • 29Bain
  • 31siegrist
  • 38Maeda
  • 49Forest
  • 56Ralston

Shakhtar Donetsk

Formation 4-1-4-1

  • 81Trubin
  • 23Maia Reis
  • 5BondarBooked at 50mins
  • 22MatviyenkoBooked at 31mins
  • 15Mykhailichenko
  • 6StepanenkoBooked at 56mins
  • 11ZubkovBooked at 90mins
  • 21Bondarenko
  • 8SudakovSubstituted forKryvtsovat 90′minutes
  • 10MudrykSubstituted forPetryakat 90′minutes
  • 2TraoreSubstituted forSikanat 57′minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Shevchenko
  • 4Kryvtsov
  • 7Totovytskyi
  • 14Sikan
  • 16Kryskiv
  • 17Djurasek
  • 19Kulakovs
  • 20Topalov
  • 26Konoplya
  • 30Pyatov
  • 32Kozik
  • 34Petryak

Referees:
Serdar Gözübüyük

Attendance:
57,478

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