Half-Time Report: Danny Welbeck puts Manchester United ahead

Manchester United lead against Shakhtar Donetsk in Ukraine thanks to an early strike from Danny Welbeck on his return to the side.

Manchester United hold a narrow advantage at half-time of their Champions League clash with Shakhtar Donetsk, thanks to a poacher's finish from Danny Welbeck.

United boss David Moyes made nine changes to his side for the trip to Ukraine, with Wayne Rooney missing out due to a shin injury.

Robin van Persie was a notable inclusion for the visitors and started brightly, smashing over from close range after controlling a floated pass from Tom Cleverley.

Shakhtar carried a threat with pace down both flanks and had a penalty appeal turned away early on, with Cleverley breathing a sigh of relief after clipping Alex Teixeira, although the forward did fall theatrically.

A clinical counter then saw United take the lead after 18 minutes as Welbeck broke the deadlock from close range, making the most of Yaroslav Rakitskiy's miscue from a Marouane Fellaini cross.

Shakhtar looked livelier in the last five minutes but United largely controlled the first period, holding on to their narrow advantage heading into the break.

Manchester United's Robin van Persie scores the opener from the penalty spot against Crystal Palace on September 14, 2013
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