Shakhtar Stun’s Real Madrid At The Opening
Of The Champions League
Thirteen-time European Cup champions Real Madrid received a humiliating defeat on Wednesday night when a chaotic first-half performance was clinically punished by a second-row Shakhtar Donetsk.
But Luis Castro’s young team was not discouraged and took an incredible, but perfectly justified, 3-0 lead on Real Madrid’s empty Alfredo di Stefano training ground.
Goals from Luka Modric and Vinicius Junior after the break gave Real hope, but there was no escape for the most decorated team in the competition despite a dramatic finish.
Federico Valverde thought he had tied injury time, but after an on-field review, referee Srdjan Jovanovic disallowed the goal for offside.
Club legend Zinedine Zidane won the Champions League in each of his first three seasons at the helm of Real Madrid, but his decision to rest the players with next Saturday’s El Clasico against Barcelona was a rare aberration and enormous.
Without captain Sergio Ramos left in the stands with a knee injury, Real’s defense was a disaster and there was little they could do to prevent Mateus Tete and Manor Solomon from scoring on either side of an own goal by Raphael Varane.
Former Tottenham midfielder Modric landed an impressive long-range shot to bring a glimmer of hope and although Vinicius scored within 15 seconds of his arrival, Shakhtar endured a famous result.
In one of the other games from early Wednesday, RB Salzburg drew 2-2 with Lokomotiv Moscow.