Fenerbahce 0-0 Shakhtar: Van Persie & Nani make debut

Van Persie

Fenerbahçe were held to a goalless draw at the Şürkrü Saracoğlu in their opening Champions League preliminary play-off game against Shakhtar Donetsk.

Yellow Canaries boss Vitor Pereira was hit with an injury blow just before the kick-off when Gökhan Gönül was ruled out.

Left-back Hasan Ali Kaldırım had to fill in as a makeshift right-back. Kaldırım was joined by centre-backs Simon Kjaer and Bruno Alves while Caner Erkin started on the left of the four-man defence.

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The midfield was comprised of Mehmet Topal and summer signing Josef de Souza in the middle while former Manchester United winger Luis Nani started on the right and Diego Ribas was given a free role on the left.

Last seasons Süper Lig goal king Fernandao started alongside Moussa Sow upfront. Robin van Persie was not given the start due to lacking match fitness.

Shakhtar got off the better start as expected considering they are already well into their league campaign. The away side came close to opening the scoring a few times in the first half as a result of dangerous counter-attacking moves but goalkeeper Volkan Demirel made a number of vital saves.

Fenerbahçe grew as the match progressed. Diego pulled the strings in central midfield and completed 91 percent of his passes in the opening 45 minutes.

Van Persie made his debut in the second half replacing Moussa Sow and almost instantly made an impact when he played Diego in on goal on 70 minutes. Second half substitute Miroslav Stoch almost setup the former United man with a delightful chip from outside the penalty area into the six yard box but Van Persie was unable to get on the end of it.

Nani and Van Persie featured in the same side for the first time in 598 days following the Red Devils 1-0 win over Newcastle United in 2013.

Fenerbahçe will take solace from not conceding at home but will be in for a tough game away to Shakhtar. The Yellow Canaries have not beat a Ukrainian side on the road in their last five tries.

FENERBAHÇE 0-0 SHAKHTAR

Stadium: Şükrü Saraçoğlu
Referee: Manuel Jorge Moreira Sousa

FENERBAHÇE: Volkan Demirel, Hasan Ali Kaldırım, Kjaer, Alves, Caner Erkin, Mehmet Topal (min. 64 Meireles), Souza, Nani, Diego (min. 84 Stoch), Sow (min. 68 Persie), Fernandao
Manager: Vitor Pereira

SHAKHTAR
: Pyatov, Srna, Ordets, Rakitskiy, Shevchuk, Stepanenko, Fred (min. 90 Malyshev), Marlos (min. 77 Eduardo), Teixeira, Taison (min. 79 Kovalenko), Gladkiy
MANAGER: Mircea Lucescu

Yellow Cards: min. 3 Alves, min. 84 Stoch (Fenerbahçe)

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