UCL: One Way Train That Leads To El Clasico

Shakhtar Donetsk vs FC Barcelona (2nd Leg)
Quarter-Finals, UEFA Champions League
Donbass Arena, Donetsk
Tuesday, 12th April 2011
18:45 GMT (20:45 CET)  

It's the second leg of the UEFA Champions League quarter-final between Shakhtar Donetsk and FC Barcelona, and to be honest there's probably not much point playing this one. In the first leg at the Camp Nou, Shakhtar got that vital away goal, but they also contrived to concede five to the Catalans, and so they either need to win by five goals or more or to beat Pep Guardiola's side 4-0.

Frankly, that's not happening. You could play the match one million times and Shakhtar might win by enough to go through once. If the game last week had been 4-2 (which would have been much fairer on Mircea Lucescu's side), then we'd be looking at a contest - Shakhtar are a legitimately great side at home and it definitely wouldn't be beyond them to beat Barcelona in Donetsk, but by five goals? Not happening.

With the contest already over, any sort of tactical preview seems silly from Barcelona's perspective. Dani Alves was the main attacking threat for the Spanish giants last time, primarily because Willian more or less refused to track him as he made runs from deep. The whole team seemed more or less incapable of dealing with the deep runs Barcelona produced, actually, which made stopping them from scoring rather difficult.

At least Shakhtar looked good on the attack. If not for the wastefulness of Luiz Adriano up front they could have easily scored a few more times, which would have made this upcoming match a little more interesting. As it is, don't expect too much in the way of excitement.

I just can't see either team being particularly up for this. Barcelona will do enough to ensure that there's no chance of a comeback, and I don't think Shakhtar will be willing to just keep hurling themselves at the visiting defence. Both sides have more important forthcoming matches and the hosts will do enough to exit the competition with their dignity intact.

Related Articles:
Video: Champions League Quarterfinal 1st Leg
UCL 2010-11: Assessing The 8 Quarterfinalists
Barcelona - One Trick Pony That Needs Plan B

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