Xabi Alonso Sent Off in UCL Last-16 Tie Against Shakhtar

Published: 18th February 2015 09:02 AM  |   Last Updated: 18th February 2015 09:02 AM   |  A+A-


LVIV, (Ukraine): Xabi Alonso was sent off in his 100th Champions League game as 10-man Bayern Munich was held to a 0-0 draw by Shakhtar Donetsk in their last 16 first-leg match on Tuesday.

On a freezing night in Ukraine, Bayern had the better chances but was thwarted by determined defending from Shakhtar and some poor shooting. Both coaches said they had emphasized defense.

Also read: Chelsea Bag Away Draw in PSG Draw in UCL’s Last-16

"We had more chances to score. Shakhtar Donetsk had none, zero," Bayern coach Pep Guardiola said. He added that his "gameplan for today" had mainly focused on keeping Shakhtar's "very, very fast" forwards under control.

"Maybe for the next game in Munich our target, our game, will be completely different," Guardiola said.

Bayern played the last 25 minutes with 10 men after midfielder Alonso was red-carded, having picked up his second booking for a poor tackle on Alex Teixeira.

The match was played in Lviv in western Ukraine because Shakhtar has been left homeless by the conflict in the east of the country, where its home city of Donetsk is a separatist stronghold.

The result means Shakhtar will progress to the quarterfinals on the away goals rule if the second leg March 11 in Munich ends in a score draw.

"The main plan for the match was not to lose," Shakhtar coach Mircea Lucescu said. "We've still got a chance."

Lucescu suggested Bayern had taken a cynical approach to the game. "Sometimes we tried to play on the offensive but when we did that, Bayern's players fouled us."

Thomas Mueller had the best chances of the game for Bayern, including a scuffed shot from a good position after 11 minutes. He was fed by Franck Ribery near the penalty spot on 31 minutes, but his snatched effort went flying over the bar.

Shakhtar's Olexandr Rakitskiy had tested Bayern goalkeeper Manuel Neuer shortly beforehand with a free-kick that the German caught but fumbled, scrambling to rescue it as Shakhtar players closed in.

That proved to be Shakhtar's only shot of a game in which the Ukrainian team created very little, despite playing most of the second half with a numerical advantage.

Bayern appealed for a penalty on 83 minutes when the ball struck the fallen Rakitskiy's arm, but the referee waved play on.

Many fans in the capacity 34,900 crowd at Arena Lviv displayed Shakhtar's black and orange colors alongside the blue and yellow of the Ukrainian flag in a show of patriotism.

Many Shakhtar supporters, some of whom have been displaced by the conflict in the east, are vocal opponents of the pro-Russian rebels who control the club's home city.

In Tuesday's other Champions League last 16 clash, Edinson Cavani salvaged a 1-1 draw for Paris Saint-Germain at home to Chelsea.

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