The min­ers advanced to the 1/8 finals of the Euro­pean Cup only in a penal­ty shootout

For the sec­ond year in a row, the sec­ond part of the sea­son The Pit­men open with a match against the French club. Feb­ru­ary 15 in Ham­burg in the first match of the Europa League play­offs Shakhtar will play against Mar­seille. A year ago, at the same stage of the tour­na­ment, the Donet­sk team met with Rennes. Win­ter 2023 Rennes was sim­i­lar to present-day Mar­seille. Let’s try to com­pare and Let’s remem­ber Shakhtar’s match­es a year ago.

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There are too many parallels with Rennes and Marseille

Shakhtar played the first match with Rennes on Feb­ru­ary 16, 2023 in War­saw at the Pil­sud­s­ki Sta­di­um. More than 13 thou­sand spec­ta­tors came to watch the game between the Min­ers and a rep­re­sen­ta­tive of Ligue 1, and Shakhtar met with Rennes after a long break: for the first time in Euro­pean com­pe­ti­tion, the teams crossed paths back in the 2005/2006 UEFA Cup. Then the group round was held in one round, and the Min­ers min­i­mal­ly won in France (1:0).

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A year ago, as now, Shakhtar played in the Europa League play­offs, fin­ish­ing third in the Cham­pi­ons League group. His oppo­nent was again the club that fin­ished sec­ond in its quar­tet of the sec­ond most impor­tant Euro­pean Cup.

In War­saw, Shakhtar, man­aged by Joovice­vich, won again thanks to goals from Kryskiv and Bon­darenko from the penal­ty spot. Rennes respond­ed with a pre­cise strike from Toko-Ekam­bi.

In the return match, luck was ini­tial­ly on Rennes’ side. The same Toko-Ekam­bi equal­ized the score on aggre­gate at the begin­ning of the sec­ond half. We had to play extra times. In the open­ing of the sec­ond, Salah put Rennes ahead. It seemed that Shakhtar would not escape defeat, but in the last added minute an own goal by French defend­er Zhauel Belosyan sent the match into a penal­ty shootout, which became a ben­e­fit for Ana­toly Tru­bin. The cur­rent Ben­fi­ca goal­keep­er saved three (!) of sev­en 11-meter kicks and pulled the Min­ers into the next round of the tour­na­ment.

How Rennes played before the match with Shakhtar

At the time of the first match with the Min­ers, Rennes had played 23 match­es in the French Cham­pi­onship, in which he scored 40 points. Mar­seille now has 21 match­es played and 30 points scored.

Read also: Shakhtar – Mar­seille. How the French spent the win­ter: nine play­ers at the African Cup, an almost record win­less streak

Rennes had 12 wins, four draws and sev­en defeats, with a goal dif­fer­ence of 42:28. Mar­seille cur­rent­ly has sev­en wins, nine draws and five loss­es, the goal dif­fer­ence is 29:23.

Rennes Shakhtar online broadcast
Rennes — Shakhtar. Pho­to – shakhtar.com

At the group stage of the 2022/2023 Europa League, Rennes did not lose a sin­gle match — three wins and three draws — in a quar­tet with Fener­bahce, Cypri­ot AEK and Dynamo Kiev. The goal dif­fer­ence is 11:8. Mar­seille has three wins, two draws and a loss in the 2023/2024 UEFA Europa League quar­tet with Brighton, Ajax and the Greek AEK. The goal dif­fer­ence is 14:10.

Read also: Gat­tuso defeat­ed the Pit­men four times, receiv­ing yel­low cards in three match­es

After the final match of the Europa League group, before the match with Shakhtar, Rennes played 12 match­es in all tour­na­ments. Won five, lost six, and end­ed in a draw. Mar­seille have two wins, four draws and two defeats in eight match­es played between the two Euro­pean Cup match­es.

And yes, at the time of the meet­ing with Shakhtar, Rennes was in sixth place in Ligue 1, Mar­seille is in eighth place.