United's long spells of possession drew whistles from the partisan home crowd but it was a measure of an authoritative performance from David Moyes' team. Robin van Persie had gone closest to scoring when curling over the bar before Welbeck struck in the 18th minute. Marouane Fellaini exchanged passes with Antonio Valencia but his near-post cross carried little danger until Yaroslav Rakitskiy made a hash of his clearance. Welbeck pounced in ruthless fashion for his third United goal of the season, sweeping past Andriy Pyatov.
Alex Texeira felt he should have had a penalty after a challenge by Tom Cleverley in the box and he also drew a save from David De Gea but the Reds remained a threat with Nemanja Vidic unable to connect properly with Chris Smalling's header from a van Persie corner.
Shakhtar started the second half well but Rakitskiy was off target with a free-kick when attempting to atone for his error and De Gea bravely held a driven cross amid a forest of legs. Although United were rarely under any sustained threat, Taison blasted an unstoppable equaliser high into De Gea's net with 14 minutes left when the ball broke loose inside the box. De Gea was only extended when a deflection off Smalling caused concern as United regained composure swiftly to earn a valuable point.