Phil Jones scored a second-half winner to ease the pressure on manager David Moyes as Manchester United finished top of Champions League Group A with victory over Shakhtar Donetsk.

United, who came into the game having lost successive home matches for the first time since 2002, struggled to match Shakhtar for large periods.

But they got the decisive goal when Jones volleyed in from a corner.

Earlier, winger Ashley Young should have scored twice but shot wide.

Those misses, in the end, did not prove costly as Moyes's men finished their group campaign with an impressive 14 points and four wins from six matches.

But for most of this match, there was one team who played like the United of old, and it was not the home side.

The three-time champions looked sluggish and lacked invention at times - two characteristics that rarely reared their heads under the stewardship of Sir Alex Ferguson.

But what they do have - which other struggling sides in the Premier League do not - is quality and experience of getting out of difficult situations.

And it was the quality of delivery from substitute Robin van Persie and the finish of England international Jones that helped United avoid the ignominy of three successive home defeats for the first time since 1962.

For 60 minutes, United were chasing Shakhtar, who zipped the ball about brilliantly on the Old Trafford surface.

One-goal United

  • Manchester United's last four home games have ended 1-0 (two wins and two defeats).

The English champions' best chances, up to the time of the goal, came on the counter and from errors by the Ukrainian side.

Two fell to Young. The former Aston Villa winger first did brilliantly to nick the ball from Darijo Srna before lifting the ball above keeper Andriy Pyatov but wide of the far post.

He then sliced a shot wide with the keeper to beat after Wayne Rooney had played his team-mate in. In between those efforts, Rooney looked like he was about to burst the net, but was stopped from doing so by Olexandr Kucher's outstanding block.

Jones, aside from his agility on the goal, and Ryan Giggs looked relatively cumbersome alongside the sprightly Brazilians of Taison, Alex Teixeira and Douglas Costa, who circled around them.

It was only when 40-year-old Giggs - making his 149th appearance in the competition - was replaced by Tom Cleverley that United looked more competitive in the middle.

Van Persie came on for Young at the same time. Four minutes later, he was involved in the opener.

The Dutchman, who is as effective on set-pieces as he is in front of goal, delivered a wicked in-swinging corner that found its way to Jones, who swung his leg at the ball and smashed a shot past Pyatov.

By this stage, Shakhtar knew that Bayer Leverkusen, a point behind them in third at the start of the evening, were ahead against Real Sociedad and on course to beat them to second place in the group.

Their heads dropped further after the goal and they failed to muster an effort of note in the closing stages, having earlier gone close through Teixeira, whose angled shot went a yard wide, and Yaroslav Rakitskiy, whose deflected effort spun off the post.

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Continue reading the main story

Lineup, Bookings (4) & Substitutions (6)

Manchester United

  • 01 de Gea
  • 02 Rafael
  • 28 Büttner Booked (Antonio Valencia - 88' )
  • 04 Jones
  • 05 Ferdinand
  • 06 Evans
  • 44 Januzaj
  • 11 Giggs (Cleverley - 63' Booked )
  • 10 Rooney
  • 26 Kagawa
  • 18 Young (van Persie - 63' )

Substitutes

  • 08 Anderson
  • 13 Lindegaard
  • 14 Hernández
  • 17 Nani
  • 20 van Persie
  • 23 Cleverley
  • 25 Antonio Valencia

Shakhtar Donetsk

  • 30 Pyatov
  • 33 Srna Booked
  • 13 Shevchuk
  • 06 Stepanenko
  • 05 Kucher Booked
  • 44 Rakitskiy
  • 20 Douglas Costa
  • 08 Fred (Fernando - 80' )
  • 09 Luiz Adriano (Ferreyra - 88' )
  • 29 Teixeira
  • 28 Taison (Bernard - 64' )

Substitutes

  • 03 Hübschman
  • 10 Bernard
  • 11 Eduardo
  • 17 Fernando
  • 19 Ferreyra
  • 32 Kanibolotskiy
  • 38 Krivtsov
Ref: Milorad Mazic

Match Stats

Shots

10 17

On target

2 3

Corners

7 6

Fouls

9 14

Live Text Commentary

Full time

Full Time Match ends, Manchester United 1, Shakhtar Donetsk 0.

90:00 +2:04 Full time

Full Time Second Half ends, Manchester United 1, Shakhtar Donetsk 0.

90:00 +1:21

Dangerous play by Luis Antonio Valencia (Manchester United).

90:00 +1:21

Alex Teixeira (Shakhtar Donetsk) wins a free kick on the left wing.

90:00 +0:18

Attempt missed. Robin van Persie (Manchester United) left footed shot from the left side of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Wayne Rooney.

90:00

Offside, Shakhtar Donetsk. Viacheslav Shevchuk tries a through ball, but Facundo Ferreyra is caught offside.

89:45

Hand ball by Luis Antonio Valencia (Manchester United).

88:46

Wayne Rooney (Manchester United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

88:46

Foul by Fernando (Shakhtar Donetsk).

87:34 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Shakhtar Donetsk. Facundo Ferreyra replaces Luiz Adriano.

87:25 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Manchester United. Luis Antonio Valencia replaces Alexander Büttner.

85:21

Attempt saved. Darijo Srna (Shakhtar Donetsk) left footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Taras Stepanenko.

83:11

Robin van Persie (Manchester United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

83:11

Dangerous play by Taras Stepanenko (Shakhtar Donetsk).

81:41

Attempt missed. Tom Cleverley (Manchester United) right footed shot from the right side of the box is too high. Assisted by Wayne Rooney with a cross following a corner.

81:11

Corner, Manchester United. Conceded by Darijo Srna.

80:13 Booking

Booking Olexandr Kucher (Shakhtar Donetsk) is shown the yellow card.

80:06

Robin van Persie (Manchester United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

80:06

Foul by Olexandr Kucher (Shakhtar Donetsk).

79:50 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Shakhtar Donetsk. Fernando replaces Fred.

78:51

Foul by Rio Ferdinand (Manchester United).

78:51

Luiz Adriano (Shakhtar Donetsk) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

78:00

Attempt missed. Yaroslav Rakitskiy (Shakhtar Donetsk) left footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Fred.

76:52 Booking

Booking Darijo Srna (Shakhtar Donetsk) is shown the yellow card.

76:43 Booking

Booking Tom Cleverley (Manchester United) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

76:41

Foul by Tom Cleverley (Manchester United).

76:41

Fred (Shakhtar Donetsk) wins a free kick on the right wing.

73:38

Corner, Shakhtar Donetsk. Conceded by Phil Jones.

73:36

Attempt blocked. Yaroslav Rakitskiy (Shakhtar Donetsk) right footed shot from the right side of the six yard box is blocked. Assisted by Darijo Srna with a cross.

73:08

Corner, Shakhtar Donetsk. Conceded by Jonny Evans.

72:09

Adnan Januzaj (Manchester United) wins a free kick on the right wing.

72:09

Foul by Viacheslav Shevchuk (Shakhtar Donetsk).

70:02 Booking

Booking Alexander Büttner (Manchester United) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

69:54

Foul by Alexander Büttner (Manchester United).

69:54

Darijo Srna (Shakhtar Donetsk) wins a free kick on the right wing.

68:13

Robin van Persie (Manchester United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

68:13

Foul by Olexandr Kucher (Shakhtar Donetsk).

66:41 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Manchester United 1, Shakhtar Donetsk 0. Phil Jones (Manchester United) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner following a corner.

66:19

Corner, Manchester United. Conceded by Bernard.

64:51

Alexander Büttner (Manchester United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

64:51

Foul by Douglas Costa (Shakhtar Donetsk).

64:23

Foul by Phil Jones (Manchester United).

64:23

Luiz Adriano (Shakhtar Donetsk) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

63:07 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Shakhtar Donetsk. Bernard replaces Taison.

62:40 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Manchester United. Tom Cleverley replaces Ryan Giggs.

62:28 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Manchester United. Robin van Persie replaces Ashley Young.

62:02

Corner, Manchester United. Conceded by Olexandr Kucher.

58:43

Attempt missed. Wayne Rooney (Manchester United) right footed shot from outside the box is just a bit too high. Assisted by Phil Jones.

57:29

Corner, Manchester United. Conceded by Andriy Pyatov.

57:27

Attempt missed. Shinji Kagawa (Manchester United) right footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Ashley Young with a cross.

55:09

Adnan Januzaj (Manchester United) wins a free kick on the right wing.

55:09

Foul by Yaroslav Rakitskiy (Shakhtar Donetsk).

53:58

Corner, Shakhtar Donetsk. Conceded by Jonny Evans.

53:57

Attempt blocked. Luiz Adriano (Shakhtar Donetsk) right footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Darijo Srna.

52:10

Offside, Manchester United. Rafael tries a through ball, but Adnan Januzaj is caught offside.

51:11

Attempt missed. Taison (Shakhtar Donetsk) right footed shot from the right side of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Luiz Adriano following a fast break.

48:36

Hand ball by Taras Stepanenko (Shakhtar Donetsk).

47:58

Corner, Manchester United. Conceded by Darijo Srna.

47:41

Corner, Manchester United. Conceded by Darijo Srna.

46:27

Corner, Shakhtar Donetsk. Conceded by Jonny Evans.

46:26

Attempt blocked. Yaroslav Rakitskiy (Shakhtar Donetsk) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Taras Stepanenko.

45:52

Corner, Shakhtar Donetsk. Conceded by Rafael.

45:50

Attempt blocked. Viacheslav Shevchuk (Shakhtar Donetsk) left footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Douglas Costa with a cross.

45:00

Second Half begins Manchester United 0, Shakhtar Donetsk 0.

45:00 +0:01 Half time

Half Time First Half ends, Manchester United 0, Shakhtar Donetsk 0.

43:20

Attempt missed. Ashley Young (Manchester United) left footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Wayne Rooney following a fast break.

42:30

Foul by Phil Jones (Manchester United).

42:30

Yaroslav Rakitskiy (Shakhtar Donetsk) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

36:32

Attempt missed. Ashley Young (Manchester United) right footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Ryan Giggs.

35:55

Adnan Januzaj (Manchester United) wins a free kick on the right wing.

35:55

Foul by Viacheslav Shevchuk (Shakhtar Donetsk).

33:29

Corner, Shakhtar Donetsk. Conceded by Rio Ferdinand.

32:52

Attempt blocked. Douglas Costa (Shakhtar Donetsk) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

32:45

Attempt blocked. Fred (Shakhtar Donetsk) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Alex Teixeira.

32:08

Alexander Büttner (Manchester United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

32:08

Foul by Douglas Costa (Shakhtar Donetsk).

31:24

Attempt missed. Wayne Rooney (Manchester United) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right from a direct free kick.

30:13

Adnan Januzaj (Manchester United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

30:13

Foul by Yaroslav Rakitskiy (Shakhtar Donetsk).

30:00

Attempt missed. Fred (Shakhtar Donetsk) left footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Alex Teixeira.

27:38

Attempt saved. Alex Teixeira (Shakhtar Donetsk) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Viacheslav Shevchuk.

23:15

Attempt blocked. Douglas Costa (Shakhtar Donetsk) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Luiz Adriano.

22:50

Attempt blocked. Douglas Costa (Shakhtar Donetsk) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Fred.

19:50

Attempt missed. Douglas Costa (Shakhtar Donetsk) left footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right.

18:59

Hand ball by Alex Teixeira (Shakhtar Donetsk).

18:12

Hand ball by Shinji Kagawa (Manchester United).

16:49

Attempt missed. Ashley Young (Manchester United) right footed shot from the left side of the box is too high.

16:47

Attempt saved. Adnan Januzaj (Manchester United) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

15:50

Corner, Manchester United. Conceded by Darijo Srna.

14:24

Wayne Rooney (Manchester United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

14:24

Foul by Yaroslav Rakitskiy (Shakhtar Donetsk).

12:00

Attempt missed. Alex Teixeira (Shakhtar Donetsk) left footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Taison with a through ball.

8:59

Foul by Ashley Young (Manchester United).

8:59

Fred (Shakhtar Donetsk) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

8:09

Attempt saved. Fred (Shakhtar Donetsk) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Alex Teixeira.

7:00

Rafael (Manchester United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

7:00

Foul by Alex Teixeira (Shakhtar Donetsk).

0:46

Attempt blocked. Alex Teixeira (Shakhtar Donetsk) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Yaroslav Rakitskiy.

0:00

First Half begins.

0:00

Lineups are announced and players are warming up.

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