A subdued Manchester City reached the Champions League’s last 16 and secured top spot in their group despite an unconvincing 1-1 draw at home to Ukraine’s Shakhtar Donetsk at the Etihad Stadium
Shakhtar should have led after 15 minutes as Tete’s goal-bound shot from an acute angle was deflected off the line by Fernandinho, and Ilkay Gundogan made the visitors pay after the break with a close-range finish after good work from Gabriel Jesus (56).
But Shakhtar leveled with a rare second-half attack as Manor Solomon, who had only been on the pitch four minutes, finished a fine move from 10 yards (69).
Alan Patrick then skied from 15 yards unmarked after Tete’s pull-back as City’s hazardous defence again looked out of sorts, while City’s best chance came when Nicolas Otamendi’s fierce header was held well by Andriy Pyatov.
City finally broke the deadline 11 minutes after the restart as Jesus rolled his marker well before squaring to Gundogan, and the German could not miss, slotting into a near-empty net from 10 yards with his right foot.
On the balance of the game, Shakhtar deserved a leveller, and they got it through sub Solomon, slotting home after Dodo had cut it back from the right byline during a slick attack.
City nearly went back ahead instantly, but David Silva’s low, first-time shot hit Kryvtsov, then goalkeeper Pyatov, and was then cleared off the line again by Serhiy Kryvtsov as Shakhtar survived.
And that’s how it stayed, despite Phil Foden’s late introduction to add some spark. The result allows Guardiola to rest some players in Zagreb, which on this showing, will be a welcome bonus.