have been disappointed. When surprise news of the absence of Wayne Rooney, the team's most in-form player, broke before kick-off, it became clear this would become a real test of character for David Moyes' men. Ryan Giggs has made more Champions League appearances than anybody else (145) after coming off the bench and received some generous applause.
The opposition Shakhtar were bright and busy but perhaps lacked some of the real spark provided last term by Fernandinho and William. Douglas Costa looked graceful in possession and it's obvious that the fans give the side their full backing at all times which aided their comeback.
Move of the match Van Persie's beautifully-cushioned touch allowed Rafael to rampage down the right with real menace in the second half. The Brazilian's pass into the box was taken on by van Persie but Rakitskiy got in the way of the shot.
In the stands United's pocket of fans high up in the Gods did their best to be heard above the din emitting from a sea of orange and black around the Donbass Arena. The most vociferous of the local contingent raised a smile when bravely reverting to bare chests en masse after the equaliser.