Shakhtar Donetsk find themselves in big trouble in UEFA Champions League Group G as a loss to Zenit St. Petersburg in Russia sees them pinned to the bottom of the table with just two points and two games remaining. The two sides had fought their way to a thrilling 2-2 draw in the Ukraine two weeks prior, with both teams playing wonderful attacking football, but the reverse fixture was nothing like the match at the Donbass Arena - Zenit dominated from the off and despite the scoreline (the game would finish 1-0) never looked like losing.
Only the frankly heroic efforts of Oleksandr Rybka in Shakhtar's goal prevented Zenit from striking gold four or five times in the first half alone, and the last thing you could say about Belgian defender Nicolas Loembarts' headed goal at the very end of first half stoppage time was that it hadn't been coming. The visitors improved marginally in the second half ending up with one whole shot on target (considering that the first half saw one shot at all from Shakhtar, this was actually a major step forward) but with the Ukrainians unable to breach Zenit's defence and the hosts content with their one-goal margin, the game quickly became bogged down in the midfield.
Zenit, of course, won't mind that they played their best football while the match was still level. The Russians are now top of their group with seven points, and look in very good shape to qualify for the group stages, depending on Porto's result in Cyprus later today.