SHAKHTAR DONETSK thrashed RB Leipzig 4-1 in their first Champions League game of the season – despite missing SIX MONTHS of football due to the war in Ukraine.
Football was halted for 254 days in the country earlier this year due to the ongoing conflict with Russia.
Ukraine’s domestic league only returned a fortnight ago, with Shakhtar taking seven points from their opening three matches.
Due to the devastation in the home country, the club are also currently playing their home matches in Warsaw, Poland.
They came into the clash in Germany with Leipzig the overwhelming favourites to beat them, but the visitors produced a stunning display to destroy the Bundesliga outfit.
And it sparked emotional scenes at full-time as the political situation in Ukraine elicited a jubilant reaction from the players.
Ukrainian international Shved broke the deadlock after a quarter of an hour following a dreadful error by Leipzig keeper Peter Gulacsi.
Mohamed Simakan levelled for the hosts 12 minutes into the second half, but just 60 seconds later Shved struck again to restore Shakhtar’s lead.
Arsenal transfer target Mykhailo Mudryk then added a third, before Lassina Traore made sure of the victory five minutes from time.
Reacting to the breathtaking win, The Athletic’s Adam Crafton said: “There were players on the pitch here who have lost close relatives in the past three months and who have close friends on the front line.
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“The achievement here has been tactical and technical but above all psychological.”
The win means Shakhtar sit top of Group F after the first round of matches.
Next up for the Ukrainian outfit is a clash with Celtic – which will be played in Poland next week.
Meanwhile, Real Madrid, who beat Celtic 3-0 on Tuesday night, will host Leipzig.