Tune in at 2:45 PM ET as Shakhtar Donesk takes on Chelsea. Jack Goodson will be liveblogging for your enjoyment.
Preamble: Welcome ladies and gents to The Score's ongoing coverage of the UEFA Champions League. Today we have what should be a real gem, the defending European champions, Chelsea, traveling to the Ukraine to take on Shakhtar Donetsk in the first-ever meeting between these two football clubs.
Donetsk, you may recall, won the 2009 UEFA Cup (now the Europa Cup) and are consistently at the top of the Ukrainian Premier League - they've won it the last three seasons and are 12 points clear in the current campaign. So, they're treading a similar path to Chelsea then. The Blues are currently four points clear of Manchester United in the Barclays Premier League, and have outscored opponents 21-4 in their last second games in all competitions.
Pyatov; Srna, Kucher, Rakitskiy, Rat; Hubschman, Fernandinho; Alex Teixeira, Mkhitaryan, Willian; Luiz Adriano. Bench: Kanibolotskiy, Stepanenko, Eduardo, Gai, Douglas Costa, Kryvtsov, Ilsinho.
Cech, Ivanovic, Terry, David Luiz, Cole; Ramires, Mikel; Lampard, Oscar, Mata; Torres. Bench: Turnbull, Romeu, Hazard, Sturridge, Cahill, Azpilicueta, Bertrand.
History on the horizon: Frank Lampard will become the first person to play 100 European games for Chelsea tonight when the match kicks off. Already a legend this man, but this is quite the landmark.
What to watch for? I reckon one of the subplots of the night is Shakhtar schemer Willian. Chelsea made a strong push to purchase the player in January and again made initial inquiries this past summer. Tottenham, managed by former Chelsea boss Andre Villas-Boas, also were interested in bringing him to England in the summer. However, in the end, the player failed to move - though he made it quite clear he wanted to leave Ukraine. With this in mind, I would think Willian is fairly motivated for tonight's fixture.
@Josh Marinelli: I prefer to stay out of the prediction business my friend. I always look like a bum when I do it, haha. A draw may well be in the cards, though.
1min: And we're off at the Donbass Arena. Shakthar, in their traditional orange tops with black shorts, are moving from right to left in this first half.
2min: Chelsea enjoy some early sustained possession, but Shakhtar eventually get a touch when Mikel fails to pick out Ramires, who is stationed on the right wing of the visitors' 4-2-3-1 formation.
3min: If you were wondering - Yes, John Terry is captaining Chelsea tonight. As you know, Terry is serving a four-match domestic ban issued by the FA for alleged racial abuse.
GOAL, 3min - Shakhtar 1-0 Chelsea: Can you believe this?
3min: A nightmare start for the European Champions. A long throw from Rat isn't dealt with in the box by a lump of frazzled visitors, namely Luiz, allowing Willian to pick up the ball on the left of the box. The ball squirted away from him and into the path of Teixeira, who controlled well in front of Terry and slotted home a low shot past Cech at his right corner. Wow.
5min: How will Chelsea respond? A loss here wouldn't exactly be a disaster, but it would heap a lot of pressure on the English club in Group E. Shakhtar and Juventus wins would push Chelsea to third in the group.
9min: Chelsea have yet to settle. You'd expect that after the early concession, which has probably shredded Chelsea's initial game plan. They'll have to be pretty aggressive now, when it was likely they were going to rely on the counter attack.
10min: The home support are in great voice.
10min: Torres is nearly through on goal. Not quite though. The Spaniard did really well to corral a pass from Ramires and then turn away from the initial marker. He had an unmarked Mata to his left, waiting for a pass, but instead Torres tried to knock the ball past a defender on the right side and couldn't do so.
11min: Chelsea are starting to find a bit of a rhythm now. Oscar crosses into the box from the right this time, but Rakitskiy is in a great position to clear the danger.
@Raul: Marin has been dealing with a hamstring injury since late in the preseason. He's barely featured at all for Chelsea thus far. He is in the Champions League squad, however.
14min: Well, that's ambitious. Fernandinho has a bit of space so he decides to launch a 30-plus yard strike toward goal that flies well wide.
15min: I sense a lot of you believe this would be a massive upset. Perhaps a small upset, but Shakhtar really are a fantastic side. They are also playing at the Dunbass, which is a highly difficult venue to come to.
16min: Speak of the devil. Lampard goes down at midfield with an injury problem. It looks like a slip cost him there. Meanwhile, as Lampard was down, Shakhtar continued to attack, with Willian picking up possession on the left. He cut inside, past Ramires, to create some space but slashed his shot over the bar from a great position. He really should have done better there.
17min: Lampard will not be able to continue. This is a serious worry for Chelesa, not just tonight but also for the season. They are already extremely thin in the midfield. Eden Hazard will replace the England international. This likely means Ramires will drop into the double pivot alongside Mikel.
19min: Chelsea are just not clicking at the moment. Initially following Lampard's injury, they conceded a corner kick and a soft shot on target.
20min: Shakhtar break on the counter. The ball is eventually slipped out wide right for Srna and his cross to the center of the box is cut out by Luiz.
22min: Some good work from Pyatov to claim a deep cross from the right via Ivanovic. Both Cole and Torres attacked the ball, with the former knocking down Pyatov with the slightest of touches after the goalkeeper had caught the cross. Cole is booked for his trouble, too. That's an interesting one.
25min: This is the best - and the worst - from Fernando Torres. Oscar played a lovely through ball for Ramires, who in turn squared for an unmarked Torres in the center of the pitch. He had just the goalkeeper to beat, but hesitated and the keeper got a touch to the ball on the edge of the box. Torres kept with it, however, and dribbled out of a jam on the right side of the box with a sweet swivel only to see his low pass back to the center find nobody at all.
26min: On replay, I think I did Torres a bit of an unjustice on that move. The goalkeeper was out like a dart to get to Ramires' square pass. I'm not sure Torres could've done much more than he did there. Just great goalkeeping.
28min: All of a sudden the match is end to end. Plenty of space for both sides at the moment.
29min: For those wondering about Lampard, I don't have a clue what he did. It looked initially like an ankle problem but we'll have to wait for official word from the club.
29min: Cech is in a good position to make a decent save on Mkhitaryan, who launched a low drive from the right edge of the box.