Manchester United got off to a reasonably bright start against Shakhtar in Donetsk, although the intensity of pressing of the game against Bayer Leverkusen was somewhat reduced.
Shakhtar had a pair of chances early on through Douglas Costa and Luiz Adriano, but some solid defending from Nemanja Vidic helped keep United's defence together. The Reds were, however, lucky to escape getting a penalty shout called against them (surprising given the general flow of decisions) when Tom Cleverley brought down Alex Teixeira in the area.
United were getting forward plenty, but not with as much speed as their opponents, but had a slice of fortune in scoring the opener. Marouane Fellaini - who was otherwise extremely poor and wasteful - muscled his marker out of the way and broke down the right channel to hit a low cross to the near post, and Danny Welbeck swooped in to finish after Oleksandr Kucher slipped and missed his interception.
The second half saw the hosts redouble their efforts to pressure the United defence, although to no great avail. United's proper midfield three seemed to be doing a better job of protecting their back four than the more usual defensive pivot, although Fellaini continued to have a shocker. The Belgian was eventually withdrawn for Ryan Giggs after having been booked by a foul committed by Antonio Valencia.
United were on the ropes, and their lead failed to last as the otherwise excellent Vidic couldn't intercept a low cross firmly enough to divert it away from the onrushing Taison, whose powerful shot rose above the unsighted De Gea with too much speed for the Spanish keeper to tip it over the bar.
Thereafter, Shakhtar were dominant, and put United under an extremely nervy spell of pressure, coming closest when Chris Smalling stuck out a leg to send Taison's low cross arrowing into the roof of De Gea's goal until the keeper was able to push it over the bar.