World News – CA – Covid-hit Shakhtar takes famous Real Madrid victory


Thirteen-time European Cup winners Real Madrid suffered a humiliating defeat as a shambolic first-half performance was clinically punished by a second Shakhtar Donetsk side thong

The Ukrainian champions arrived in Madrid without 13 first-team players after 19 positive Covid-19 tests across the club, forcing them to call up players from the youth squad

But Luis Castro’s young side were not deterred and took an incredible, but completely justified, 3-0 lead on the empty training ground of Real’s Alfredo di Stefano

Luka Modric and Vinicius Junior’s goals after the break gave hope, but there was no escape for the most decorated team in the competition despite a dramatic final

Federico Valverde thought he hit a leveler in the stoppage time, but after a check at the pitch watch referee Srdjan Jovanovic refused the goal for offside

Club legend Zinedine Zidane has won the Champions League in each of his first three seasons at the helm of Real, but his decision to leave the players to rest with next Saturday’s El Clasico against Barcelona at the spirit was a rare and huge aberration

Without captain Sergio Ramos – left in the stands with a knee injury – Madrid’s defense was in disarray and there was little they could do to stop Mateus Tete and Manor Solomon from scoring on either side of a goal against his camp of Raphael Varane

Tellingly, Los Blancos have now lost seven of their last eight Champions League games without Ramos deep in their backline

Former Tottenham midfielder Modric hit a superb long-range strike to bring a glimmer of hope and, although Vinicius scored within 15 seconds of his arrival, Shakhtar held on for a famous result

During his pre-match press conference, Castro was asked if the match should have been called off due to their exhaustion, with the ex-Porto boss admitting « right now we are living a nightmare »

Instead, it was a first-half dream for his intrepid squad which had eight under-23 players. Captain Marlos had already wasted a glorious chance to put Donetsk in the lead when Tete passed Thibaut Courtois after a sad defense against Varane and Marcelo

Varane then played into his own net after Courtois failed to hold a shot from Tete, and Solomon swept a handsome third after a smooth play from a touch separated Real

Real sent Karim Benzema rested at the break and gained a foothold in the game when Modric scored a magnificent goal, pushing a 25 yards into the top corner

The comeback was indeed here when Vinicius scored with his first touch, after a defensive foul

Shakhtar pitched in defense but had chances to seal him on the counter, with Tete losing good chances twice and Marlos seeing a fourth sent off for offside

There were more offside dramas to come Valverde’s shot from a short corner beat 19-year-old goalkeeper Anatolii Trubin, but Vinicius was offside, right in his eyes and the goal has been chalked

After a summer without an inbound transfer, Zidane now has his work cut out for him to qualify in a squad that also includes Inter and Borussia Monchengladbach

He can write more history, though – because no team has won the Champions League after losing their opening game

GOAL RETURNED BY VAR: Federico Valverde (Real Madrid) scores but goal is ruled out after VAR review

Real Madrid CF, FC Shakhtar Donetsk, UEFA Champions League, Zinedine Zidane, Sergio Ramos

World news – CA – Covid-hit Shakhtar take famous victory at Real



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