Real Madrid Suffer Shock Defeat To Shakhtar Donetsk – originally posted on Sportslens.com
Real Madrid’s recent misery continued as they suffered a shock 2-3 home defeat at the hands of Shakhtar Donetsk in their opening Champions League group game. The Spanish champions were undone by a Shakhtar team that was missing 13 first-team players due to Covid-19.
So What Went Wrong?
Zidane shouldered full responsibility for an ultimately “bad night” where Madrid were found wanting. Shakhtar were impressive for the most part and on the 29th minute they broke the deadlock. The full back, Viktor Korniienko, bumbled his way into the box before laying it off to Tete who finished into the corner with aplomb.
Real Madrid soon found themselves behind again four minutes later. Tete cut in from the right and fizzed a shot heading towards the corner. With Courtois only able to parry it back out, Varane prodded home the loose ball as Shakhtar followed up.
Things continued in the same vein as Real Madrid went three behind before halftime. Excellent interplay from Shakhtar carved open the Spanish giants once again. A give and go with Tete from Solomon was finished by the latter into the corner. Real Madrid headed into the break 3-0 down.
Real Madrid Fight Back
Zidane turned to his talismanic striker Karim Benzema in the second half, and a response soon followed. in the 54th minute, smart buildup play on the left saw Marcelo lay off the ball to Luka Modric. The midfielder shuffled inside and arrowed a shot into the top corner with Shakhtar keeper Anatoliy Trubin rooted to the spot.
Things began to look ominous for Shakhtar. Vinicius Junior, a second-half substitute for the maligned Luka Jovic, made an immediate impact. His first touch was to steal possession from Shakhtar captain Marlos before driving on to bury a shot across Trubin.
Shakhtar Miss Big Chances
Shakhtar missed further opportunities to put the game beyond doubt. The ever-reliable Tete screwed a shot wide after another powerful run by Korniienko. A few moments later Tete beat the offside trap , however, Courtois kept the shot out.
The Spanish giants continued to move forward. Their persistency seemed to have paid off. A smart corner by Toni Kroos was pulled across onto the onrushing Federico Valverde, whose deflected strike bundled into goal off the keeper. However, the jubilation was short-lived as VAR deemed Vinicius to be interfering with play.
At the press conference, Zidane went on to say: “I see myself capable of fixing this, that’s what I’m going to try. The players are going to try, too. We are going to look for the solution and we’re going to find it. Now we have to prepare for Saturday’s game [away to Barcelona].”
With two defeats in two games, the El Clasico now could be make or break the season for Zidane.