And only Fon­se­ca man­aged to reach the play­offs of the Cham­pi­ons League, and van Leeuwen did not fin­ish the first part of the sea­son

Shakhtar’s entry into the spring stage of Euro­pean com­pe­ti­tion is already a com­mon occur­rence. For exam­ple, over the past eight sea­sons, the Min­ers have played at this stage of the tour­na­ment sev­en times (six in the Europa League, once in the Cham­pi­ons League). True, the Donet­sk team rarely man­aged to over­come it: once in the Cham­pi­ons League, six in the Europa League/UEFA Cup.

See also: Mar­seille — Shakhtar. Video review of the match for Feb­ru­ary 22

For the third time in the last eight sea­sons, Shakhtar’s Euro­pean Cup cam­paign end­ed at the Europa League play­off stage. Of the last five Gornyak coach­es, only Luis Cas­tro and Igor Jovice­vic man­aged to pass this bar­ri­er. Two attempts by Paulo Fon­se­ca end­ed in fail­ure, although the Por­tuguese took Shakhtar to the 1/8 finals of the Europa League. In six months of work­ing with Donet­sk, Rober­to De Zer­bi did not leave the Cham­pi­ons League group, where he led the team through qual­i­fi­ca­tion.

Fonseca – did not qualify for the Champions League, reached the Europa League playoffs

The Por­tuguese spe­cial­ist began his work at Shakhtar in 2016 by los­ing the coun­try’s Super Cup to Dynamo in a penal­ty shootout, and then won four vic­to­ries in a row: three in the cham­pi­onship, one in the third round of Cham­pi­ons League qual­i­fy­ing over Young Boys. The win­ning streak end­ed in the return match with the Swiss club. And also in the penal­ty shootout: Young Boys won back two clean sheets received in the first match, and then were more accu­rate in the foot­ball lot­tery.

Read also: Pusic: Foot­ball is a game that depends on mis­takes, so Mar­seille deserved this vic­to­ry

Fur­ther in the play­offs of the Europa League selec­tion, the Min­ers beat Istan­bul Basak­se­hir twice, then eas­i­ly won the group — six wins in six match­es with Ghent, Bra­ga and Konyas­por. In the play­offs, the draw brought Shakhtar to Celta. After win­ning the away match — 1:0, it seemed that the Min­ers would beat the Spaniards, but in the nom­i­nal­ly home match in Kharkov, the Donet­sk team con­ced­ed in the 90+1 minute, and then in over­time.

Paulo Fon­se­ca, Get­ty Images

The fol­low­ing sea­son, Shakhtar and Fon­se­ca start­ed in the Cham­pi­ons League group, took sec­ond place in the quar­tet with Man­ches­ter City, Feyeno­ord and Napoli (fol­low­ing the Eng­lish), and in the 1/8 finals on aggre­gate, due to the then exist­ing away goal rule, they lost to Roma (home win — 2:1, defeat in Rome — 0:1).

In the 2018/2019 sea­son, Shakhtar fin­ished third in the group, behind Man­ches­ter City and Lyon and ahead of Hof­fen­heim. In the Europa League play­offs, the Min­ers lost to anoth­er Bun­desli­ga rep­re­sen­ta­tive, Ein­tra­cht (2:2 at home, 1:4 away).

Castro was “helped” by Covid

Fon­se­ca’s replace­ment, Luis Cas­tro, start­ed in the Cham­pi­ons League. It turned out tra­di­tion­al­ly: third place in the quar­tet after Man­ches­ter City and Ata­lan­ta. True, the Min­ers were one point behind the Ital­ians, and Dinamo Zagreb, who fin­ished in fourth place, were also one point ahead.

Read also: Ukraine may lose 18th place in the UEFA coef­fi­cients table and has def­i­nite­ly lost one Euro­pean Cup tick­et

Fur­ther in the Europa League play­offs, Shakhtar beat Ben­fi­ca (2:1 at home and 3:3 away), and beat Wolfs­burg in the 1/8 finals in the first match away. And then the coro­n­avirus inter­vened. UEFA sus­pend­ed its tour­na­ments, and the Min­ers had to play the return match with Wolves in August. It turned out more than con­vinc­ing­ly – a 3:0 vic­to­ry. Then there was a defeat in the quar­ter­fi­nals, which con­sist­ed of one match, Basel — 5:0 and a crush­ing defeat in the semi­fi­nals with the same score from Inter.

Luis Cas­tro,

The next Euro­pean Cup sea­son for the Por­tuguese is also quite suc­cess­ful. Tra­di­tion­al­ly, they are third in the group after Real Madrid and Borus­sia Glad­bach, with an equal num­ber of points with the Ger­man club, and Iner Milan is behind, with two points behind. Next came two clean vic­to­ries in the Europa League play­off round over Mac­cabi Tel Aviv and two defeats against Roma in the 1/8 finals.

De Zerbi: an unfinished project

The Ital­ian spe­cial­ist man­aged to work with Shakhtar for less than a year — the full-scale mil­i­tary inva­sion of Rus­sia pre­vent­ed him. De Zer­bi began to build his project, reached the Cham­pi­ons League group, hav­ing passed Ghent and Mona­co, but fin­ished in the quar­tet with Real, Inter and Sher­iff in fourth place, gain­ing two points in six match­es.

Read also: Kosy­rin: Pusic failed to take advan­tage of Marseille’s prob­lems and delayed mak­ing sub­sti­tu­tions

Jovicevic: 1/8 finals — on the first try

De Desr­by, who replaced him, did bet­ter. The Croa­t­ian men­tor with Shakhtar took third place in the Cham­pi­ons League group, where Shakhtar start­ed as the leader of the Ukrain­ian cham­pi­onship, which was not com­plet­ed due to the war. The Min­ers missed out on Real and Leipzig and were ahead of Celtic. In the Europa League play­offs, Shakhtar beat Rennes in a penal­ty shootout, and lost to Feyeno­ord in the 1/8 finals on aggre­gate. More­over, the defeat from Rot­ter­dam in the return match — 1:7 — accord­ing to rumors, was the rea­son for Jovice­vich’s future res­ig­na­tion.

Igor Jovice­vich. Pho­to –

Pusic: the first damn thing is lumpy

Shakhtar’s cur­rent coach replaced Patrick van Leeuwen after the Dutch spe­cial­ist scored three points in the Cham­pi­ons League — a defeat to Por­to and a vic­to­ry over Antwerp. The min­ers and Pusic exchanged vic­to­ries with Barcelona, ​​beat Atwerp again and lost to Por­to again. The sto­ry of the con­fronta­tion with Mar­seille in the Europa League play­offs is too recent to dwell on in detail.