Danylo Sikan of Shakhtar Donetsk sent shockwaves through the UEFA Champions League Group H with a stunning 1-0 victory over Barcelona. The match, held at Volksparkstadion in Hamburg, Germany, saw Shakhtar breathe new life into the group standings.
Barcelona entered the game with hopes of securing their spot in the knockout stages with two games to spare. However, they were left disappointed as they slipped to defeat against a determined Shakhtar side. The Ukrainian team started the match brightly, with Marc-Andre ter Stegen making a crucial save to deny Mykola Matviyenko.
In the first half, Shakhtar limited Barcelona to shots from distance, with Raphinha’s effort from 20 yards being the most notable. It came as no surprise when Shakhtar took the lead with a magnificent goal. Georgiy Sudakov played a brilliant cross-field pass to Giorgi Gocholeishvili, who delivered a teasing cross from the right. Danylo Sikan rose high to head the ball into the top corner, leaving Ter Stegen with no chance.
Sikan had an opportunity to double Shakhtar’s lead when he was played through by Oleksandr Zubkov, but Ter Stegen made a crucial save with his legs. Barcelona manager Xavi was clearly frustrated with his team’s performance and made four substitutions shortly before the hour mark, bringing on Pedri, Joao Felix, Lamine Yamal, and Alejandro Balde.
Barcelona showed signs of improvement after the changes, but they were unable to find the breakthrough. Newerton thought he had secured the win for Shakhtar, but his goal was disallowed for offside. The match had a nervous finish, with seven minutes of added time, but Shakhtar held on for the victory.
With this defeat, Barcelona remains on nine points from four games, while Shakhtar now has six points. Porto will face Royal Antwerp later on Tuesday.
In another Champions League match, Dortmund proved too strong for Newcastle. After starting their campaign with a draw against AC Milan and a win over Paris Saint-Germain, Newcastle suffered a defeat at the hands of Dortmund for the second time. The German side took the lead through Niclas Fullkrug on 26 minutes, capitalizing on Newcastle’s failure to clear the ball. Julian Brandt sealed the win for Dortmund with a breakaway goal on 79 minutes.
The victory lifted Dortmund to seven points, while Newcastle sits in third place in Group F with four points. Milan will face PSG later on Tuesday, adding further excitement to the group stage battles.