After an enterprising Bayern dominated the first period and should have taken the lead through Thomas Müller, the second-half dismissal of Xabi Alonso on his 100th tournament appearance made the visitors’ task tougher, with the draw leaving Pep Guardiola’s side all to play for in the second leg.
Bayern on top
Guardiola made three changes to the side that beat Hamburger SV 8-0 on Matchday 21, but Bayern showed no early signs that their hunger for goals had abated. Within two minutes Bastian Schweinsteiger came close to the opener with an acrobatic volley, as the Bavarians’ early monopoly on possession set the tone for the first half. The next chance fell to Arjen Robben, but his low drive was blocked, before a Müller effort was cleared off the line.
The breakthrough wasn’t forthcoming against a well-organised Shakhtar defence, however. Müller spurned another golden chance in the 31st minute, and although the effervescent Robben was a threat on the right, Bayern struggled to add to early raft of chances. With half time approaching the visitors managed to intricately string several passes together on the edge of the box, only for Franck Ribery to fire over with the goal at his mercy.
Similarly to the opening of the first half, Schweinsteiger almost broke the deadlock as the second period got underway. Mario Götze then failed to test Shakhtar custodian Andriy Pyatov, while the hosts’ own attacking efforts were being stifled by Ribery and Robben’s tracking back out wide. Bayern’s quest for an opener took the form of ball retention in Shakhtar’s half, but the task of breaking down the stubborn Ukrainians was made tougher when Alonso received a second yellow card in the 65th minute, the Bavarians' third dismissal in their last six away games in the competition.
Substitutes Holger Badstuber and Robert Lewandowski stabilised the visitors, who remained resolute in defence, and indeed, it was Guardiola’s side who should have stolen a winner twice late on, as Robben’s powerful shot was well blocked before a teasing Ribery cross evaded Lewandowski at the back post. As it was, ten-man Bayern had to settle for a point, though, leaving the tie precariously poised ahead of the second leg in Munich on 11 March.
FC Shakhtar Donetsk: Pyatov - Srna, Kucher, Rakitskiy, Shevchuk - Fred, Fernando - Costa (Marlos, 78'), Teixeira, Taison (Wellington Nem, 84')- Adriano (Gladkiy, 89')
FC Bayern München: Neuer - Rafinha, Boateng, Alaba, Bernat - Alonso, Schweinsteiger - Ribery, Robben, Müller (Badstuber, 69') - Götze (Lewandowski, 74')
Red cards: Alonso (65')