Shakhtar Donetsk

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Fonseca goes Zorro after ending Man City’s 22-match run

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Advancing to the UEFA Champions League knockout rounds by beating a team that hadn’t lost this season?

You could forgive Shakhtar Donetsk manager Paulo Fonseca for feeling like a hero, even if that isn’t the reason he donned the mask, hat, and cape of Californian legend Zorro.

No word on whether he refers to Bernard as Tornado.

[ MORE: Shakhtar 2-1 Man City ]

Shakhtar ended Manchester City’s 22-match unbeaten run on Wednesday, scoring a pair of first half goals and holding on to win 2-1 in Ukraine.

Fonseca had made a promise to dress as Zorro if Shakhtar advanced into the knockout rounds, and he was true to his word. Even his interpreter popped on a mask. From the BBC:

“This is the most joyful press conference of my career,” Fonseca, who was recently linked with the Everton job, said.

“I feel great joy. I think not only Shakhtar’s supporters but all Ukrainians have to be proud of our team.”

The 44-year-old has managed Porto and Braga before taking the reins at Donetsk last season, where he’s since lost just seven times.

Man City’s unbeaten run ends in Ukraine

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Manchester City lost for the first time in 23 matches this season, as a young back line was a part of an otherwise meaningless 2-1 UEFA Champions League group stage finale loss at Shakhtar Donetsk.

Bernard and Ismaily scored six minutes apart as the Ukrainian hosts built a 2-0 halftime lead, and a stoppage time penalty from Sergio Aguero was all City could muster against Paulo Fonseca’s hosts.

[ MORE: Liverpool crushes Spartak ]

City started youngsters Tosin Adarabioyo and Phil Foden as well as Eliaquim Mangala and Danilo. Pep Guardiola also handed a rare appearance to 18-year-old Brahim Diaz.

The win gives Shakhtar a spot in the knockout rounds, though they still finish three points and nine goals worth of differential behind City in Group F.

UCL AT HALF: More Ronaldo history, Liverpool rolling (video)

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As it stands, Liverpool, Sevilla, Shakhtar Donetsk, and Porto will claim the final four places in the UEFA Champions League knockout rounds.

[ MORE: Dele’s new agent ]

Two teams, Liverpool and Porto, are doing so in style.

Tottenham Hotspur 2-0 APOEL Nicosia

Fernando Llorente has Spurs’ opener and set up Heung-Min Son for Tottenham’s second before the break as a mostly second-choice side is carrying play at Wembley Stadium.

RB Leipzig 0-1 Besiktas

An Alvaro Negredo penalty kick has the group winners leading on the road.

Liverpool 3-0 Spartak Moscow

Philippe Coutinho has two, including the cherry on top of this nice team goal, and Roberto Firmino also player a part in the Reds scoring thrice in the first 19 minutes.

Porto 3-0 Monaco

Porto is down a man but up three goals. Vincent Aboubakar has bested his UEFA Champions League single season record with his fourth and fifth goals of the group stage. Yacine Brahimi has the other goal.

Shakhtar Donetsk 2-0 Manchester City

Tosin Adarabioyo and Phil Foden are part of a young City back four, and the Premier League leaders’ unbeaten run in all competitions is in danger thanks to Bernard’s 26th minute arrow from the left and an Ismaily goal six minutes later.

Feyenoord 1-1 Napoli

They’ve traded goals at De Kuip, with Napoli opening the scoring in the second minute.

Maribor 1-0 Sevilla

Brazilian attacker Marcos Tavares has the Slovenian hosts on top.

Real Madrid 2-1 Borussia Dortmund

Borja Mayoral opened the scoring, then Cristiano Ronaldo made his next bit of history to make it 2-0 in the 12th minute. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang pulled one back late.

Ukraine police detain 52 for Champions League fan violence

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KHARKIV, Ukraine (AP) Ukrainian police say they have detained 52 people for fan violence ahead of Wednesday’s Champions League game between Shakhtar Donetsk and Dutch club Feyenoord.

[ MORE: Phil Neville believes Matic’s absence has cost Chelsea ]

Police say they arrived at a bar in the city of Kharkiv where “a conflict had occurred between Dutch and Ukrainian fans” and took 52 people to a police station for questioning.

Police say windows were broken and the interior of the bar was damaged.

Ukraine is hosting this season’s Champions League final but has a record of soccer-related violence. Hundreds of Ukrainian and Turkish fans clashed in Kiev around a game last year.

Manchester City: Pep praises LB Delph, issues Mendy update

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Sometimes, the opposing manager has a line or two which sums up the brilliance of the victors.

That’s the case Tuesday, as Shakhtar Donetsk manager Paulo Fonseca was downright glowing after his side frustrated Man City before falling 2-0 in UEFA Champions League action at the Etihad Stadium.

[ RECAP: Man City 2-0 Shakhtar Donetsk ]

“We were very compact and we were not leaving many gaps for them, and trying to attack them,” Fonseca said. “I always watch all the matches of City and this year City have not met a team who has created any problems. … I think all our players were playing at a very good level and as I said, it is difficult to come here and demonstrate such courage as our guys have demonstrated today.”

Don’t tell Paulo about the Bournemouth and Everton matches, but we get the idea.

City midfielder Kevin De Bruyne downplayed his evening, but turned the keys that led to several chances. He started and finished the side’s first goal after a 1-2 with David Silva.

Yet the name on Pep Guardiola‘s lips was Fabian Delph who, after scoring a stunning goal in the Premier League this weekend, put in a strong performance at… wait for it… left back!

“Fabian Delph was man of the match. When a guy who is so kind and can help the team, he is intelligent, is physical and never loses the ball. He controlled Marlos and did it very well.”

Entering the season, Delph had made just 39 performances in two seasons since arriving from Aston Villa. Guardiola is making things happen for most of his players this season, and it’s starting to feel like some special things are cooking on both sides of Manchester.

As for Benjamin Mendy, who was seen on crutches following an injury against Crystal Palace, the wing back could be set for a while on the sidelines.

Guardiola says Mendy will undergo tests on Wednesday in Barcelona, calling his absence “a major setback.”

“He is a unique player,” Guardiola said. “We will see in January about a new signing. We have alternatives.”