Xabi Alonso ended with an early bath as 10-man Bayern Munich toiled to a goalless draw with Shakhtar Donetsk in Lviv.
Alonso, making his 100th appearance in the Champions League, was given his marching orders with 25 minutes remaining after picking up a second booking for a cynical trip on Alex Teixeira.
The former Liverpool and Real Madrid midfielder could have few complaints, but while it was symptomatic of a niggly game, the contest never truly caught fire.
Indeed, Bayern started brightly with Arjen Robben taking the game to the hosts in the early exchanges, but bar a few half-chances were unable to break down a resolute Shakhtar defence.
Bayern had only one shot on target all evening, and not even the introduction of Robert Lewandowski in the second half could spark the Bavarians into life.
Shakhtar rarely threatened themselves, though, and Bayern remain favourites to progress although they will be without Alonso for the return leg in Munich.
2’ – CHANCE FOR BAYERN – Robben scoops the ball into the area where Bastian Schweinsteiger is waiting but the midfielder cannot keep his effort on target.
11’ – CHANCE FOR BAYERN – Robben runs at the hosts’ defence again, before playing in Thomas Mueller. But the Germany international looks for the return instead of shooting, allowing Oleksandr Kucher to clear.
18’ – HANDBAGS – Franck Ribery told to calm down as he confronts Douglas Costa after the Brazilian clatters into David Alaba. It would not be the last time Ribery and Costa clashed.
24’ – ALONSO BOOKED – Alonso picks up his first yellow card for a professional foul as he breaks up a Shakhtar attack. Darijo Srna and Jerome Boateng then appear to put their heads into one another.
31’ – CHANCE FOR BAYERN – Ribery and Mueller almost work an opening but the latter’s final ball is just too strong for Mueller, who is stretching and cannot keep his effort on target.
33’ – OUCH! – Vyacheslav Shevchuk is left with blood pouring from a head wound as Mueller accidentally catches him while trying to control a Ribery cross.
65’ – ALONSO SENT OFF – Alonso is given a second yellow card after a cynical foul on Alex Teixeira on halfway. He had been lucky not get a second booking minutes earlier.
83’ – ROBBEN WANTS A PENALTY – Yaroslav Rkytskiy gifts Robben possession and as he looks to make amends for his mistake appears to handle the winger’s shot. However, replays confirm the ball hit his face.
Bayern Munich managed just one shot on target. The fewest they have recorded in any game (all comps) since October 2012.
Bayern conceded 20 fouls in Lviv, only once have they conceded more this season.
Shakhtar have not won any of their last six games that were 0-0 at half-time, drawing four times and losing twice.
Why were Bayern so flat? Make no mistake, Pep Guardiola's side should still stroll into the last eight, but this was a worrying display. Bar the opening 10 or 15 minutes there was little urgency in their play, while certain players seemed far too eager to get involved in petty squabbles. Arjen Robben did at least provide the side with some spark in the opening half, but his influence waned significantly as the game wore on and it is hard to remember a clear-cut chance either side created after the break. Luckily for Guardiola Shakhtar did not have the nouse to take advantage of an off-night, but far sterner tests await and they cannot afford to be this lackadaisical in Europe again.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Fred (Shakhtar Donetsk): An all action presence in the hosts' midfield, helped get his side the advantage in what was a key area. Aided ably by Fernando while Kucher had an impresseve evening at the back.
Shakhtar Donetsk: Pyatov 7, Srna 7, Kucher 8, Rakitskiy 7, Shevchuk 7, Douglas Costa 6, Fred 8, Fernando 7, Taison 7, Alex Teixeira 6, Luiz Adriano 5. Subs: Marlos 5, Wellington Nem 5, Gladkiy 5
Bayern Munich: Neuer 6, Rafinha 6, Boateng 6, Alaba 7, Bernat 6, Goetze 5, Alonso 5, Scweinsteiger 6, Robben 7, Mueller 6, Ribery 6 Subs: Badstuber 6, Lewandowski 6