Just two days after the squad was denied entrance into Harrods – owned by Cottagers chairman Mohamed Al Fayed – for looking scruffy, Shakhtar lost a match they looked destined to win comfortably.
Zoltan Gera marked his recovery from a knee injury by firing the opener with just two minutes on the clock, although Shakhtar will be unhappy with keeper Andriy Pyatov’s role in the goal.
But then it was one-way traffic as the Ukrainians, inspired by their five-strong Brazilian contingent, outclassed Fulham who clung onto their precious lead until the half hour mark.
Luiz Adriano pounced for the equaliser and a second seemed imminent but Fulham survived until half-time and then clawed back some of the initiative.
Zamora struck the decisive blow in the 63rd minute, unleashing a thunderous 20-yard shot that rattled the crossbar and crashed home for his 14th goal of the season.
Cottagers boss Roy Hodgson hailed his side’s performance. He said: “Shakhtar were exceptional in the first half and maybe we got a bit scared in that situation and weren’t prepared to get on the ball as much as we normally do. But we pulled ourselves together in the second half. We don’t come up against sides like this week in and week out, and we had to really dig deep.’’
FULHAM: Schwarzer, Baird, Hughes, Hangeland, Kelly, Davies, Etuhu, Murphy, Duff, Gera (Elm 89), Zamora.
Shakhtar Donetsk: Pyatov, Srna, Kucher, Rakitskiy, Rat, Ilsinho, Hubschman (Kravchenko 78), Fernandinho, Willian , Jadson (Douglas Costa 75), Luiz Adriano.
Referee: Serge Gumienny (Belgium).