DONETSK, Ukraine - Chelsea's hopes of a place in the Champions League last 16 were compromised yesterday when the holders fell to the first loss of their trophy defence in a 2-1 defeat at Shakhtar Donetsk.
Despite a late effort by Chelsea's Oscar, goals from Alex Teixeira and Fernandinho were enough to give Ukrainian champions Shakhtar breathing space at the top of Group E and extend an extraordinary unbeaten run stretching back 11 months.
It was Chelsea's first loss since they went down to Atletico Madrid in the UEFA Super Cup, but things would have been far worse for the Premier League leaders had Juventus not been held to a 1-1 draw at Danish side FC Nordsjaelland in the other Group E clash.
Chelsea remain in second place but are now three points behind Shakhtar ahead of the return game on November 7, while coach Roberto Di Matteo must hope for a quick recovery prior to Monday's visit of Manchester United.
John Terry returned for Chelsea after missing their 4-2 win at Tottenham Hotspur as he served the first instalment of a four-game ban for racially abusing QPR's Anton Ferdinand, but his first contribution was unfortunate.