6.47pmWe'll start by looking at our hosts this evening, and things aren't exactly going too sweetly for Shakhtar of late. It all started so well for them as they won their opening six league games with minimum fuss, but since then they have only managed a solitary win in their last five league games.
6.49pmThat win came against Vorskla last month in a comfortable 3-0 triumph, but two losses and two defeats have seen them fall to third in the Ukrainian Premier League table, six points behind top of the table Metalist.
6.51pmIt is a different story for the reigning champions in all competitions, however, as they are currently on a four-match unbeaten run. Their last outing saw them need two second-half goals to rescue a 2-2 draw with Metalurh Donetsk in a local derby, but before that they had won three matches back to back, in the league, cup and Champions League.
6.53pmThat Champions League victory puts them level on points and level on goal difference with Manchester United at the top of the Group A table, although tonight's opponents currently occupy the top spot due to goals scored. Shakhtar only managed to score twice in their 2-0 victory over Real Sociedad on matchday one.
6.55pmOne slight concern from the Sociedad match could be the amount of shots they managed to have. With just six attempts on goal, Shakhtar had the joint-fewest shots of any teams in matchday one, sharing the dubious honour with Basel. Both teams were successful, however, so they wouldn't have dwelt on that stat for too long.
6.57pmThe Donbass Arena has a reputation of being something of a fortress for Shakhtar, and that is certainly the case in domestic football. They haven't lost a league or cup match here since 2011, remarkably only dropping six points in the 28 games since that defeat. Their current unbeaten run at home in all competitions, not including friendlies, stretches back 15 matches to December of last year when Juventus won here.
6.59pmHowever, whether that reputation of a fortress remains in European football is up for debate. Shakhtar have only managed to win two of their last eight home matches in the Champions League. They have had to face some tough opposition during that spell, including Barcelona, Juventus and Dortmund, but United should consider themselves among that class so would be expecting a win today, no matter Shakhtar's home reputation.
7.01pmTheir two wins came against Nordsjaelland and Chelsea, who were the last English club side to come to this stadium. Perhaps worryingly for United, Donetsk have a 100% record against English opposition here, beating Arsenal in 2000-01 and 2010 as well as that result against Chelsea.
7.03pmUnited have bigger worries than that at the moment, however. To say that David Moyes's start as manager of United has been tumultuous would be an understatement. From their failure to get most of their desired targets during the transfer window to their poor start to the season, Moyes has had a torrid time as United boss so far.
7.05pmIt was always going to be tough replacing someone like Sir Alex Ferguson, after all, how do you replace arguably the greatest manager to have ever lived? Moyes seemed like a sound choice at the time, but questions marks are beginning to be raised over his tenure already. Their last outing merely exacerbated the situation as they fell to a second consecutive league defeat at the hands of West Bromwich Albion, who ran out 2-1 winners at Old Trafford.
7.07pmIt wasn't just that result that brought out the critics, however. United's tough start could have gone one of two ways. With good results, Moyes will have been hailed strongly as the 'Chosen One', but if it went badly, like it has, few results will turn your own fans against you early on like defeats against fierce rivals Liverpool and Manchester City.
7.09pmTheir league form, which has seen them win just once in their last five matches following their opening day victory against Swansea, has left United languishing in an unfamiliar place called the bottom half. They are currently 12th in the table, having made a worse start than the likes of Hull City, Aston Villa and Cardiff City. In fact, this has been the Red Devils' worst start to a season for 24 years. They are already eight points behind early pace-setters Arsenal and five behind fourth-placed Everton - Moyes's former club, of course.
7.11pmTheir cup form, however, has provided something of an outlet for Moyes. They may have only had two matches outside the Premier League so far, but they have both been morale-boosting victories against Bayer Leverkusen and Liverpool respectively. The Leverkusen one sees them joint top of Group A with tonight's opponents, although their four goals to Leverkusen's two put them top of the pile.
7.13pmThat win against Leverkusen was also United's first in the Champions League for five matches - a record unfamiliar to a team that reached three finals in the space of four years not long ago. They have only won three of their last eight away Champions League matches, while that record moves to just one in six on their travels in all competitions.
7.15pmTEAM NEWS: Right, time for some team news and there is some interesting lines coming out of United's camp. Robin van Persie is restored to the starting XI for the first time in three games, replacing the in-form Rooney, who is not even in the squad due to illness. Fellaini, Vidic and Evra all return have sat out of the loss to West Brom, while Smalling is the man chosen to replace the injured Rio Ferdinand. Full team news for both sides coming right up.
7.19pmMANCHESTER UNITED STARTING XI: De Gea; Rafael, Smalling, Vidic, Evra; Valencia, Carrick, Fellaini, Cleverley; Welbeck, Van Persie
7.20pmMANCHESTER UNITED SUBS: Lindegaard, Jones, Giggs, Nani, Young, Kagawa, Hernandez
7.22pmWhat can we make from those two teams, then? Well, it is a strong team selected by Shakhtar manager Mircea Lucescu as expected. He had an almost fully fit squad to choose from, so it is no surprise to see the likes of Costa, Teixeira and Adriano named. Those three could well be the dangermen today, and United's chances could rely heavily on how Fellaini copes with Costa, who was hailed as the "best young South American player around" by Ferguson a few years ago. That is some endorsement considering the likes of Neymar are now plying their trade at Barcelona.
7.24pmUnited will have to keep a very close eye on Teixeira, who has developed a taste for goalscoring at this level. He scored both of Shakhtar's goals in their 2-0 win over Real Sociedad a fortnight ago, and will be looking to add to that tally tonight. Luiz Adriano also knows exactly where the goal is, and he will look to take advantage of Ferdinand's absence. He has scored 87 goals in 203 games for Shakhtar in his career and is in particularly good form this season, netting five in nine games.
7.26pmAs for United, well, it is a major blow for them to lose Rooney. We were expecting him to play with Van Persie again, but to see his name not on the scoresheet does change things. In this recent poor run of form, he is one player to have come out with a little credit having scored five goals in his last five games. He is also the highest scoring Englishman in Champions League history and broke the 200-goal barrier for United against Leverkusen. It is, however, a major boost to have Van Persie back in the side and he will look to replace the goals left by Rooney.
7.28pmElsewhere, the experienced duo of Vidic and Evra return to the starting lineup after their surprise omission at the weekend. They should sturdy up a defence that looked very shaky at times against West Brom, not least for Morgan Amalfitano's opening goal. Fellaini hasn't enjoyed the best start to his United career but tonight is a big chance for him to show that he belongs on the biggest stage of club football. With Giggs, Nani, Young, Kagawa and Hernandez on the bench, Moyes has plenty of attacking options at his disposal, which suggests that he is going to go for the win tonight.
7.30pmWe must also give a shout out to Ryan Giggs tonight. He is only on the bench but, should he come on, he would create a moment of Champions League history. He is currently tied with Raul on 144 appearances in the competition, and a substitute appearance would see him stand alone as the most capped player at this level. That would be a fitting accolade for an illustrious career of such longevity. The fact that he is still playing at this level into his 40s is remarkable enough.
7.32pmRecords will not be on Giggs's or Moyes's mind tonight, however. They will be solely focused on the win, and three points tonight would give them control over Group A as well as potentially giving them a boost to turn around their league form. They will need to be stronger at the back, however, having not kept a clean sheet in their last eight Champions League games.
7.34pmUnited do have a good record against Ukrainian teams in Europe, however. They have won three and drawn one of their four encounters, which have all come against Dynamo Kiev.
7.35pmPREDICTION: Right, we're 10 minutes from kickoff in Donetsk, so it is about time I made my prediction! I can see this one going either way, to be honest. Both teams are in poor form domestically but I'm not sure that will have too big an impact tonight. Shakhtar have home advantage, which will make a difference, although not as significant a difference as some people may think. It is certainly a tough place to come, but plenty of teams have come here recently and gone away with a result. All in all, I think we could see a draw tonight, so I am going to go for 1-1.
7.37pmThis is new territory for both sides really as these two clubs have never played each other before. Shakhtar's home record against English clubs is perfect, but they have a 0% away record against the same teams. United's record against Ukrainian teams is also good, but it is fair to say that Dynamo Kiev never posed as big a threat as Shakhtar currently do.
7.39pmWhile the two clubs have never played each other before, Shakhtar manager Mircea Lucescu has come up against Manchester United before. He was in charge of Inter Milan when the two sides met in the quarter-finals in 1999. The 3-1 aggregate win for the Red Devils was significant in the future of both teams as Lucescu resigned a couple of days later while United went on to claim their historic treble.
7.41pmUnited may have lost their long-serving boss in Ferguson during the summer, but Lucescu is enjoying a rather lengthy spell in charge of Donetsk. He has been at the helm since May 2004, making him the longest serving boss in Ukrainian football.
7.43pmThere are a host of other Champions League fixtures on tonight, and we have them all covered here on Sports Mole. You can see a selection of our live commentaries here, and I will also be keeping you up to date with goings on from around Europe, keeping a particularly close eye on events in Manchester as City take on holders Bayern Munich.
7.45pmThe players come out to the spine-chillingly wonderful Champions League music that makes these nights seem extra special. It is a very chilly night in Ukraine, but United can't have any qualms over the state of the pitch. It is in fine condition.
1 minKICKOFF: United get us underway in this match, and it is interesting to see how they will approach this match. A draw, you would think, would be a decent result for Moyes but a win would really send a message to his detractors.
3 minUnited have taken slight control of the ball early on but it has been a pretty even start for both sides. Neither have tried anything too drastic as they look to settle themselves into this match.
4 minUnited have an early corner and Van Persie trots over to take it. He swings it in towards the near post but could do with a little more elevation on it as Srna clears.
6 minUPDATE: The first goal of the night has gone to Paris Saint-Germain, who have taken a 1-0 lead over Benfica courtesy of Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Meanwhile, back in Manchester, Bayern have taken the lead against City early on, with Ribery grabbing the goal.
8 minSHOT! That is the best opening of the night. Van Persie control a high ball and cuts onto his left before swinging a shot just over the bar. That could have been similar to his goal against Spurs a couple of years back, but he got too much lift on it. He would have expected to do better there.
10 minThere is a great noise in the stadium at the moment and the fans' chanting has been relentless throughout. They are certainly trying to warm themselves and their team up on what is a freezing night!
12 minDe Gea needs to come off his line to clear a ball with a Donetsk man in close attendance. Evra just poked the ball back to his keeper, who needed to be alert there.
14 minShakhtar are starting to look dangerous now and the noise levels are rising along with them. Adriano just nipped into the box there and drove a low cross right across the face of goal, but no-one is there to finish.
15 minPENALTY SHOUT! Big penalty claim for the hosts as Cleverley slides into a silly challenge inside the box. He gets nowhere near the ball and does clip the man, but I think the referee is right to say no - the Shakhtar man hung his leg out and went down theatrically. He's been taking lessons off Ashley Young!
16 minNice interchange between Cleverley, Fellaini and Welbeck, but the latter is just stopped in his tracks when he tries to burst into the box. There is a really good tempo to this game at the moment.
18 minUPDATE: Over in Belgium, Anderlecht have gone behind against Olympiakos in their match. Kostas Mitroglou got the goal for the Greek side to give them a 1-0 lead.
18 minGOAL! Shakhtar Donetsk 0-1 Manchester United (Danny Welbeck)
18 minWhat a huge goal that is for United and Moyes! It is a slow build up from the visitors, but they inject pace when it matters. Fellaini reaches the byline and sends a cross back that is so nearly cut out by the defence. In the end, the slight touch they get slows the ball down for Welbeck, who slides in to give his side a valuable lead from close range.
20 minUPDATE: Real Madrid have also taken the lead in their match, and it was Cristiano Ronaldo (of course) who scored for them. They lead FC Copenhagen 1-0.
22 minShakhtar will be looking for a response now, and the early signs are good. They have had a couple of promising attacks since the goal, and the latest culminates with Teixeira smashing a bobbling ball over the bar from the edge of the box.
24 minIt will be interesting to see where United go from here. It is too early to sit back, but they will naturally start to take fewer risks given their lead. A win here, in what will probably be their toughest group match, would be an invaluable three points.
26 minUPDATE: PSG are now 2-0 up against Benfica, and it is Marquinhos who has got the goal this time around. The French champions look like they are on their way to a home win tonight.
26 minBack in Donetsk, Srna has won his side a free kick in a very promising position. They could swing a very dangerous cross in from here, and United will have to defend it well...
27 minSrna drills the ball in low rather than the lofted cross I thought he would try, but Cleverley is alert to put the ball out for a corner.
29 minSrna will make those marauding runs down the right flank all night, but he will hope not all of his attacks end like this one! Costa slips the ball to his overlapping full-back, but his cross is dreadful and goes out for a goal kick.
31 minWelbeck seems to be playing in an almost free role at the moment. I expected him to start out on the left but it now looks as it he is playing exactly how Rooney would have played. He has just picked the ball up almost on the halfway line as he looks to dictate the tempo of the match.
33 minUPDATE: Ibrahimovic has his second of the night in Paris as PSG now lead Benfica 3-0. That one is as good as over now, surely.
34 minSrna is quite lucky to get away without a booking for a cynical trip on Welbeck, who was looking to break away after a fine piece of defensive work. I think the Shakhtar skipper got away with that one purely because it happened so deep inside the United half.
36 minShakhtar have a free kick in a good crossing position after a foul on Shevchuk by Valencia. Costa's delivery isn't great but almost causes problems in the middle before eventually being cleared by Cleverley.
38 minUPDATE: There could be a shock in store in Turin as Galatasaray - managed by Roberto Mancini now of course - have taken the lead against Juventus. That would be a major scalp for Mancini early in his career.
38 minVan Persie whips a dangerous corner into the box which Smalling is competing for at the near post. It is flicked on towards the far post, where Vidic hooks it back into the box before it is cleared.
39 minSAVE! Smalling backs off from Teixeira on the edge of the box and allows the dangerous midfielder a shot on goal. He can't get enough power on his effort, however, and it is a fairly comfortable stop for De Gea.
41 minUnited's tactics are working well at the moment. When the hosts have the ball they are putting nine outfield players behind it, with only Van Persie remaining up front. Then, when they win it back, they move swiftly into a 4-3-3 with Valencia and Welbeck bombing down the wings.
43 minDe Gea comes right to the very edge of his box and reaches out to catch the ball. I must say that from my view it looked like the ball was outside the area, but the ref was in a good position looking straight at him, so I will bow down to his superior judgement on that one.
45 minUPDATE: The other game in this group has seen its first goal as Leverkusen have taken the lead against Real Sociedad right on the stroke of half time.
45 minHALF TIME: Shakhtar Donetsk 0-1 Manchester United
8.33pmThere is no time added on in the Donbass Arena as United make their way into the break with an invaluable 1-0 lead. It has been a good job well done by the Red Devils so far, and if they can hold out then three points away to Shakhtar would arguably be David Moyes's best result as United manager yet.
8.35pmIt was Danny Welbeck who got the United goal, sliding in in front of his marker to convert Fellaini's pull back from close range. The England striker wasn't really involved before the goal but has gradually eased his way into the match and come up with some important pieces of play, both in attack and defence.
8.37pmMoyes will be very happy with Welbeck's performance in that first half. In fact, he will be happy with his whole team's performance. They have played well in a daunting atmosphere and demanding conditions, and are on their way to a very good European away performance.
8.39pmTo pick up a win without Wayne Rooney, who picked up a knock to the shin in training yesterday, would be a huge result for the Red Devils. Rooney has been their in-form player during their poor run of late, but the rest of the team has stepped up today to make up for his absence. That will give Moyes as much satisfaction as the scoreline at the moment.
8.41pmThis one is by no means over, though. Chances have been at a premium so far for both sides, but the hosts have looked dangerous at times when coming forward. They certainly look to have a goal in them and United may well need score again to give themselves a bit of breathing space as you can be sure that an onslaught will come in the latter stages if the score remains 1-0.
8.43pmShakhtar could be bemoaning their luck a little from that first half. They had a decent penalty shout turned down, although I think that the ref made the right decision. It was a silly challenge from Cleverley and he never should have gone for it, but Teixeira went down too easily and was clearly looking for the penalty. There was contact, however, and I have certainly seen them given. Also, United were given a throw-in in the build-up to the goal that should have been awarded the other way. From that throw, Valencia fed the ball to Fellaini, who went on to set up Welbeck.
8.45pmIn truth, a draw would probably be the fairest result at this stage but, if anyone deserves to have the lead, it is United. Other than the goal, Van Persie has had the best chance when he curled a powerful effort just over the bar from the edge of the box. It was the type of chance that he would have expected to do better with, but not many players would have been able to score it.
46 minKICKOFF: Shakhtar get us back underway at the Donbass Arena as they look to protect their proud 100% record against English teams here. Can United hold out for a very impressive victory?
48 minNice football from Shakhtar but they are stopped by the formidable presence of Vidic. It is slick passing from the hosts, but Fernando's attempted killer ball is intercepted well by the big centre-back.
50 minRakitskiy certainly doesn't lack ambition! He goes for goal from a free kick that is at least 35 yards out and his effort is a very good one too. It is moving all over the place, but De Gea watches it all the way and sees it fly a couple of yards past his post.
52 minUPDATE: Real Sociedad have equalised in the other match in Group A tonight. Carlos Vela has scored from the spot to make it 1-1 against Leverkusen.
53 minVery good goalkeeping from De Gea! Shevchuk finds space down the left flank as he skips beyond Rafael before sending a brilliant low ball into the box. De Gea has to be brave as he comes out to claim the ball and he takes a couple of boots for his troubles.
55 minLindegaard has just gone out to warm up following that incident as De Gea looks like he is struggling a little. I think he will be fine to continue, but Moyes may be unwilling to take any risks.
56 minSuperb defending by Vidic as he makes a vital tackle on Adriano just as the striker was about to pull the trigger from inside the box. The ball is still bobbling about but the defender gets another important touch that allows Smalling to hack it clear.
58 minUPDATE: There has been a second goal in Manchester, and it has gone to the reigning Champions League holders again. Bayern Munich now lead City 2-0 thanks to Thomas Muller's strike.
60 minUPDATE: Things are going from bad to worse to City! Bayern have a third goal at the Etihad, with Arjen Robben putting the German champions 3-0 up against Manuel Pellegrini's men.
62 minYELLOW CARD! Fellaini has picked up a number of yellow cards in his career, but he can feel harshly done by with this one! He and Valencia did foul the man, but it was Valencia who should have been penalised.
63 minThreatening attack from Shakhtar as they move the ball down the field very quickly. Costa feeds it into the path of Shevchuk, who swings his cross just in front of Teixeira coming in at the far post.
64 minYELLOW CARD! Vidic can have no complaints here. Costa just wriggles away from him on the edge of the box and the United man pretty much rugby tackles him to prevent a shot on goal. It is a free kick in a very good position, but that was a clever foul from Vidic.
65 minIt was a foul that most certainly paid off, too. Srna took the free kick on, but it hits the wall and United can get it clear. Srna is capable of much better from that position, and he knows it.
67 minMANCHESTER UNITED SUB: A small slice of history is being made here as Ryan Giggs comes on for a record 145th Champions League appearance, no-one has made more. What a servant he has been to both the club and the competition. Fellaini is the man to make way as Giggs surpasses Raul in the all-time list.
69 minUPDATE: Cristiano Ronaldo has doubled his personal tally for the night by giving Real Madrid a 2-0 lead against FC Copenhagen in Spain. That man just does not stop scoring, he really is sensational.
70 minIt almost opens up for Taison as Smalling fails to deal with a high ball into the box. Thankfully for him, Rafael is mopping up behind and slices a clearance back into De Gea's arms.
71 minCHANCE! Decent chance for United as Rafael drives down the right before pulling a ball back towards Van Persie. It is just behind the Dutchman, who thinks about leaving it for the onrushing Cleverley but instead tries to find the bottom corner on the turn himself. In the end it needs a good block from Rakitskiy to keep it out.
73 minUnited are just over 15 minutes away from a very good three points here. Can they hold out? Shakhtar are pure to start piling the pressure on in the closing stages, and the mettle of the United defence will certainly be tested in this final quarter of an hour.
75 minUPDATE: Angel di Maria has made it 3-0 to Madrid against Copenhagen, while Olympiakos now lead Anderlecht by the same scoreline. Mitroglu has a hat-trick for the Greek side in that game.
76 minGOAL! Shakhtar Donetsk 1-1 Manchester United (Taison)
76 minThere is the goal Shakhtar have been searching for, and it could be a hugely important strike in this group. Shevchuk zips a low cross into the box and Vidic reacts well to intercept. He only diverts it into the path of Taison, however, and he smashes it into the roof of the net. Nothing De Gea could do about that one.
78 minThere was an element of luck about the goal - both good for Shakhtar and bad for United - but it was such an emphatic finish from Taison. Both sides now need to decide whether they are content with a draw or fancy going for the win knowing the risks of losing.
80 minUPDATE: As United's fortunes take a dip, those of City take a slight rise as Negredo pulls a goal back for them against Bayern Munich. It won't be enough though as Bayern still lead 3-1.
81 minUPDATE: Arturo Vidal has also just scored a penalty for Juventus in their match against Roberto Mancini's Galatasaray. It is now 1-1 in Turin.
82 minThat goal has really got these fans going, and a large section of them have taken their tops off as they bounce up and down making a great deal of noise. They are brave men as it is absolutely freezing out in Donetsk at the moment! A Mexican wave is almost rippling around the stadium, what an atmosphere.
84 minYou'd suspect that anything more than a draw for United tonight would have been a bonus for Moyes before the match, so I don't think he will be pushing too hard for a win here. A draw is still a good result, but there could still be one chance left for his side.
85 minSHAKHTAR SUB: Straight swap for the hosts in midfield as Fernando is replaced by Ilsinho.
86 minGREAT SAVE! Wow, what a reaction save that is from De Gea. A powerful cross takes a deflection off Smalling and it would be an own goal but for a superb stop. He showed such quick reactions to keep that one out, brilliant goalkeeping.
88 minUPDATE: A glimmer of hope for City? They have little more than two minutes left of normal time and still trail by two goals, but Bayern have just been reduced to 10 men, Boateng being shown the red card.
89 minSHAKHTAR SUB: Another straight swap for the hosts, this time up front as Adriano is replaced by Facundo Ferreyra. Can he make a difference in the closing stages?
90 minThere will be two added minutes at the end of this one. Can either side find a dramatic late winner?
90+1 minSHAKHTAR SUB: Off goes the goalscorer Taison to be replaced by Bernard, who won the South American equivalent of the Champions League this season.
90+1 minMANCHESTER UNITED SUB: Both teams seem to be content with a draw here as Phil Jones replaces Welbeck for the final seconds.
90+2 minFULL TIME: Shakhtar Donetsk 1-1 Manchester United
9.37pmThe referee brings an end to an exciting night of football despite a lack of clear cut chances for both sides. In the end the spoils are shared, which you think is a decent enough result for both sides. Donetsk lose their 100% record at home against English opposition in the Champions League, but still no English team have won here.
9.39pmDavid Moyes will be happy with what was a much-improved performance from their one at the weekend against West Brom. It was almost a perfect away European performance from the Red Devils, but they couldn't return to England with all three points thanks to Taison's strike. Moyes may be disappointed at not winning the game having led for so long, but a draw here is by no means a poor result.
9.41pmAs for Shakhtar, they will go into every home game expecting a win but will also be happy enough with just a draw. United may not be in great form at the moment, but they are still one of Europe's top clubs and any result against them should be regarded as a good one. They will be particularly happy at rescue something having been behind for so long.
9.43pmThat leaves both sides still level on points and goal difference at the top of Group A. Leverkusen won in the group's other match so they move within one point of United and Donetsk, while Real Sociedad remain bottom without a point to their name. Next up for United is a double header against Sociedad, while Shakhtar face back-to-back games against Leverkusen.
9.45pmRight, that is all we have time for tonight! Thank you very much for joining Sports Mole for what was an exciting match in Ukraine as Manchester United earned a point against Shakhtar Donetsk. I will leave you with our match report and be sure to stick around for reaction and analysis, which will be on site soon. The Europa League takes centre stage tomorrow, so come back and join us for more live action then! Until then, though, goodnight!