Under-fire Rafael Benitez survived a late scare on a night when Real Madrid won their Champions League group, conceding three late goals against Shakhtar Donetsk but holding out for a 4-3 win.
Cristiano Ronaldo’s brace complemented goals from Luka Modric and Dani Carvajal at the Lviv Arena, although the pressure has not entirely been lifted on their manager.
Benitez was given a vote of confidence by club president Florentino Perez following Saturday’s rout by Barcelona, but both will have watched the last 12 minutes in horror as Shakhtar clawed it back to 4-3 through Alex Teixeira’s double and Dentinho.
Only four players remained from the team thumped 4-0 by Barca, with Ronaldo, Gareth Bale, Raphael Varane and Modric the survivors for this Group A encounter.
The visitors took the lead in the 19th minute when the lively Bale capitalised on an error by Andriy Pyatov to cross for Ronaldo to head home from close range, before second half strikes from Carvajal, Modric and another from Ronaldo in the 70th minute gave them a seemingly unassailable lead.
However, seven minutes later Real began to unravel, with Teixeira scoring either side of Brazilian teammate Dentinho bundling home a corner to set up a nervy finale.