Shakhtar Donetsk scored an impressive double in the Champions League against Real Madrid when they beat Zinedine Zidane’s men 2-0 in Kiev, leaving the Spanish giants close to their first early exit from the competition.
Shakhtar continued their shocking 3-2 win over Real in the opening round of this season’s group stage with another win against odds in the Ukrainian capital on Tuesday night.
The hosts opened the goal through substitute Dentinho in the 57th minute, having benefited from the confused defense in the Real Madrid ranks, when Raphael Varane inexplicably let go of the ball and the veteran Brazilian came between him and Lucas Vazquez to break up.
Dentinho has scored two goals in the #UCL during his career: ⚽️ against Real Madrid⚽️ against Real Madrid Over five years since his last goal in the competition. pic.twitter.com/7lmeeEjs3C
– Squawka Football (@Squawka) December 1, 2020
When Real pressed for an equalizer, they were caught with a sucker in the 82nd minute, when Israeli striker Manor Solomon was allowed to carry the ball unimpeded out of his own half before cutting in and firing a croaking low shot past Thibaut Courtois Post .
The result stayed 2-0 when Real suffered a defeat on their return to NSC Olympiyskiy in Kiev. This was the scene of their last Champions League triumph against Liverpool in 2018.
Here’s his Solomon’s goal against RealShakhtar’s second of the night and Solomon’s second against Real this season in the UCL Sensational goal – old-school Konoplyanka vibe! pic.twitter.com/lrvxB8PdxE
– Zorya Londonsk (@ZoryaLondonsk) December 1, 2020
Shakhtar’s win meant they were only the fifth club, after Ajax, Bayern Munich, Juventus and Russian CSKA Moscow, to win both group stage games against Real Madrid in a single Champions League season.
It was all the more remarkable that the Ukrainians had scored ten unanswered goals in their last two Champions League games against the German group leader Borussia Mönchengladbach.
The result put Zidane’s team in third place in Group B, with seven points on par with the Ukrainians, but only one lap short of the head-to-head record.
The 13-time European champion, who managed to get by in Kiev without the injured Eden Hazard and talisman Sergio Ramos, has left the group stage in the Champions League every time he has competed since it was reformatted by UEFA.
Real face Mönchengladbach next week and may have to rely on the results of the Inter Milan game against Shakhtar.
Mönchengladbach, who started the day with eight points, can qualify as group winners if he defeated the winless Inter Milan in the later kick-off in the group on Tuesday, which would mean that Real’s fate was no longer in his own hands last week .
The Kiev defeat put pressure on Zidane, who led Real to the La Liga title in his second term as manager last season but is now increasingly aware of stuttering performances in the league and in Europe.
Some fans urged the French to leave after his team’s last pathetic appearance.
I love Zidane so much, but I think it’s time to break up. Far too many humiliations in one season, somehow we are worse this season than 2018/19.
– Rk (@RkFutbol) December 1, 2020
However, others have blamed the players who were available to Zidane as well as the Madrid board for failing to provide reinforcements during the transfer window.
If Real Madrid play in the Europa League, the blame is not on Zidane, who was promised some players and risking his legacy, but only on Florentino Perez, who couldn’t keep Ronaldo, kept Bale and couldn’t buy players if necessary. Insane amounts on “Next Neymars”
– A (@RMadridEngineer) December 1, 2020
Every Madrid fan knew the club’s attack broke since 2018. Even Zidane had to take a defensive approach to win 2019-20. The main cause of this is the board. Any manager in the world can do so much with such a mediocre attack.
– Ryan. (@Rygista) December 1, 2020
Zidane himself was defiant and told reporters after the game: “I’m not going to resign.
“We will continue. We were good in the first half. It would have been different if we had scored the first goal …”
“Your goal hurt us when we played well. We had two out of three chances and hit the post.”
Next up for Real is a home game against Sevilla on Saturday before the game against Mönchengladbach, in which it will be decided whether they will go into the knockout phase of the Champions League or face the embarrassing consolation prize of a place in the Europa League.