RB Leipzig got the result they needed to join Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund and Eintracht Frankfurt in the UEFA Champions League last 16, after thrashing Shakhtar Donetsk to finish second in Group F behind holders Real Madrid.
Shakhtar Donetsk 0-4 RB Leipzig
Goals: 0-1 Nkunku (10'), 0-2 Silva 50' (assist: Simakan), 0-3 Szoboszlai 62' (assist: Nkunku), 0-4 Bondar (o.g. 68')
Leipzig's famous 3-2 victory over Real in their penultimate group fixture meant they required just a draw away to Shakhtar to progress to the round of 16. Maximum points was on the card early doors, though, when Nkunku broke the deadlock after Timo Werner's initial effort had been saved. Werner went off injured soon after, but his replacement, Emil Forsberg, was quick to make an impact with a shot Anatoliy Trubin did well to save. A Janis Blaswich mistake almost let in Ivan Petriak, who was unable to take advantage for a goal that would have been completely against the run of play.
Leipzig doused any comeback hopes Shakhtar harboured soon after the restart as Andre Silva headed in from Mohamed Simakan. Forsberg tested Trubin once again, before Dominik Szoboszlai capped a flowing move with a fine finish to the brilliant Nkunku's pass. Substitute Dani Olmo curled in a sensational fourth with his first touch of the ball, only for the goal to be given to Shakhtar's Valeriy Bondar, who got the last touch. Nkunku whipped one over late on as Die Roten Bullen motored into the knockout stages.
- Leipzig have made the Champions League round of 16 once before, reaching the 2019/20 semi-finals.
- Marco Rose's team finished only a point behind Real in Group F, despite losing their first two matches in the section.
- Nkunku has scored in his last four matches in all competitions. In total, he has 14 goals this season. He is Leipzig's all-time top scorer in the Champions League (11).
- Silva has three goals and two assists in six group games this term.
- Leipzig are unbeaten in 10 matches in all competitions (W8, D2).
- They have won four Champions League matches in a row for the first time.
Shakhtar: Trubin - Konoplia (Taylor 59'), Bondar, Matviyenko, Mykhaylichenko - Stepanenko (c) - Bondarenko (Kryskiv 81'), Sudakov (Djurasek 59') - Petriak, Traore (Sikan 59'), Mudryk (Totovytskyi 74')
Unused subs: Shevchenko, Pyatov, Kryvtsov, Kulakov, Topalov, Ocheretko, Kozik
Out: Shved (muscular), Zubkov (muscular)
Coach: Igor Jovicevic
Leipzig: Blaswich - Simakan (Henrichs 67'), Orban (c), Gvardiol, Raum (Halstenberg 67') - Kampl, Schlager (Diallo 74' - Szoboszlai (Olmo 67'), Nkunku, Werner (Forsberg 19') - Silva
Unused subs: Nickisch, Schlieck, Haidara, Novoa
Out: Gulacsi (knee), Klostermann (ankle), Laimer (ankle)
Coach: Marco Rose
As it happened!
There goes the final whistle! A stupendous night's work from Leipzig sees Marco Rose's side waltz through to the Round of 16 following a 4-0 win in Warsaw. Christopher Nkunku starred with a goal and an assist but the all around performance from the visitors was top notch. Shakhtar's consolation is a place in the Europa League play-offs.
NO GO OLMO
Poor Dani Olmo has had his 68th minute goal given to Valeriy Bondar as an own goal, the Shakhtar defender adjudged to have deflected the ball in.
LEIPZIG'S BIG RESPONSE
A touch of the friendly match vibes to this one now as the clock ticks down to a fine Leipzig win in Warsaw. Having lost their opening two matches in the group, Marco Rose's team have responded brilliantly with four successive wins to make it through to the knockout stages. Hats off.
RBL FANS ON SONG
Halstenberg volleys wide of the near post. Up in the stands, Leipzig's fans sing the 'Freed from Desire' song with plenty of nanananas thrown in.
NKUNKU OVER THE TOP
Nkunku bends a free kick over the bar. Trubin had that one covered.
DONETSK GO CLOSE
What a goal that would have been! Mudryk whacks a shot towards the top corner from distance and the ball lands on the roof of the net. Some thought it was in.
Amazing! Dani Olmo walks onto the pitch as a sub and with his first touch from a Kampl pass, curls a superb shot to the far post and in.
Game set and match for Leipzig, who are heading for the Champions League Round of 16. Another superb involvement by Nkunku, with the France international picking out the onrushing Szoboszlai with a slick pass along the floor. The Hungarian international uses two touches to take the ball around the goalkeeper before slotting home.
GOAL! 0 : 3
Triple change for the hosts as they look to go for it here. Whatever happens, Shakhtar are guaranteed third spot and a place in the Europa League play-offs.
NO GO SHAKHTAR
Traore has a penalty shout for the hosts but there was a flag up in the build-up to that Shakhtar move and Leipzing have a fee out.
Brilliant from Leipzig. Szoboszlai races forward and plays a pass into the centre for Nkunku, who spins and drags a back-heeled ball out to Forsberg. The Swede lashes at goal first time and Trubin tips over the bar.
SILVA AT THE DOUBLE
Play seemed to stand still when Simakan headed the ball back to the far post, where Andre Silva nipped in to deflect home. Leipzig bag their second of the game and Shakhtar collectively scratch their heads. The hosts were not switched on there.
Leipzig kick off the second 45' in Warsaw.
Leipzig lead at the break thanks to Nkunku's goal. The visitors are on their way to the knockout stages as things stand.
These past five minutes have definitely belonged to a revitalised Shakhtar. A slick build up leads to a cross flying towards Mudryk. The attacker is muscled out and the opportunity goes awry.
A long ball over the top almost catches Blaswich in all sorts of problems as the keeper comes racing off his line, and fails to make contact. Petryak can't take advantage and Leipzig escape.
Worth remembering that Leipzig are looking to make it to the knockout stages for the third time in the last four years here. Impressive.
RBL OFF TARGET
Szoboszlai wellies one over the top when well positioned. That was a bit rushed from the Hungarian, whose expression relays his frustration.
Ivan Petryak drags a left-footed shot low and wide of the upright. A rare chance for Shakhtar draws plenty of applause from those inside the stadium.
Emil Forsberg picks up possession, runs forward and drills low at the target from distance. Trubin gets down to make the save.
RBL ON COURSE
Real Madrid are a couple of goals up against Celtic in the group's other game. As it stands, the Spanish giants are going through as section winners with Leipzig following them into the Round of 16 as runners up.
Mykhaylychenko lunges in with a challenge that upends Simakan. Yellow card for the Shakhtar man.
HOSTS PUSH ON
Shakhtar make a rare foray forward and Traore is in with a chance, only to be denied by Willi Orban, who hacks clear. Traore was in an offside position.
Simakan powers down the right and tries to pick out Forsberg in the centre. The ball bounces too close to Trubin, however, and the Shakhtar keeper gathers easily.
WERNER'S RACE RUN
Werner fell awkwardly following a Stepanenko challenge and although he's tried to carry on here, a change is imminent. It looks like an ankle issue for the Germany international.
Bad news for Leipzig here with Timo Werner struggling with a knock. Emil Fosrberg is warming up.
LEIPZIG LEAD !
Leipzig hit the front. Donetsk give up possession easily and Nkunku pounces, passing for Werner whose shot is parried out by Trubin straight to Nkunku. The France forward makes no mistake on the follow up and finds the net for his third Champions League goal of the season.
GOAL! 0 : 1
Brilliant from Nkunku who controls a pass over the top before eventually back-heeling for Timo Werner on the left. Werner slams low and hard at goal but Trubin makes the block.
LEIPZIG ON THE MOVE
Good start by Leipzig. Kampl lifts a pass through for the onrushing Nkunku but the French forward is just forced out and Shakhtar win a goal kick.
The ball is rolling in Warsaw and we are underway in tonight's final Group F encounter for Shakhtar and Leipzig.
TEAMS ARE OUT !
We've just had the Champions League anthem inside the Municipal Stadium of Legia Warszawa and we're all set for kick off.
Leipzig have enjoyed a solid upturn in form since the last time these side's met. Back in early September, Leipzig were hammered 4-1 at home by today's hosts, the Saxony-based side's second loss in the section following defeat against Real Madrid. However, subsequent back-to-back wins against Celtic followed by a superb triumph against the Spanish giants have put Leipzig in the driving seat for qualification to the knockout stages tonight.
ROSE'S LEIPZIG SMARTS
Here's what visiting coach Marco Rose had to say about Leipzig's massive game against Shakhtar. "It is a final for both teams. Both teams can still get through, but could also be knocked out of the Champions League. Even if a draw would be enough for us to progress into the last-16, it is never smart to play for a draw."
SHAKHTAR TEAM NEWS
Shakhtar make just one change to their side with midfielder Oleksandr Zubkov's injury meaning Ivan Petryak gets a start in midfield for the hosts.
LEIPZIG TEAM NEWS
Blaswich returns in goal for the visitors, the Leipzig custodian having missed out on the weekend win against Leverkusen with a calf complaint. Amadou Haidara was carrying an ankle knock but is available from the bench. Poulsen (calf) misses out altogether. Leipzig's Champions League top scorers, Nkunku and Andre Silva (four tournament goals between them) are good to go from the off.
Shevchenko, Pyatov, Kryvtsov, Totovytskyi, Sikan, Kryskiv, Djurasek, Kulakov, Topalov, Taylor, Ocheretko, Kozik
SHAKHTAR STARTING XI
Trubin - Konoplia, Bondar, Matviyenko, Mykhaylichenko - Stepanenko (c) - Bondarenko, Sudakov - Petriak, Traore, Mudryk
Nickisch, Schlieck, Olmo, Haidara, Forsberg, Halstenberg, Diallo, Novoa, Henrichs
LEIPZIG STARTING XI
Blaswich - Simakan, Orban (c), Gvardiol, Raum - Kampl, Schlager - Szoboszlai, Nkunku, Werner - Silva
WELCOME ALONG !
Hello, hello and welcome to our coverage of this evening's big Champions League, Group F game in which a place in the Round of 16 is up for grabs. Leipzig are in position to grab said spot in the knockout stages but the Bundesliga side must avoid defeat against Shakhtar in Warsaw to avoid disappointment.