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Real Madrid 2-3 Shakhtar Donetsk: 5 talking points as Shakhtar shock Zinedine Zidane's men | UEFA Champions League 2020-21

Real Madrid fell to a shock 2-3 defeat to Shakhtar Donetsk in their UEFA Champions League fixture
Real Madrid fell to a shock 2-3 defeat to Shakhtar Donetsk in their UEFA Champions League fixture
Modified 22 Oct 2020, 07:42 IST
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Real Madrid suffered their second consecutive defeat at the Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano on Wednesday, as Shakhtar Donetsk registered a 3-2 win in a thrilling UEFA Champions League encounter.

It was one of the best first-half performances against Real Madrid in Champions League history. Ukrainian champions Shakhtar made quick work of the defence and scored three impressive goals, all on quick and efficient counter-attacks.

Shakhtar were also without some of their key players heading to the Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano. However, inspired displays from the youngsters, especially 20-year-old Tete, made it look as if it were the home side that were playing with a handicap.

There were some red flags for Madrid before Tete broke the deadlock in the 29th minute and their defensive frailty was exposed by the visitors. The first half completely belonged to the visitors, who enjoyed more possession, completed more passes and had a 100% shot accuracy.

Madrid learnt from their first-half mistakes and did not afford the visitors a lot of time and space on the ball, thus eliminating their threat from the counter after the restart.

They mounted an unsuccessful comeback in the second half through quick-fire goals from Luka Modric and substitute Vinicius Junior. A third was scored, but hopes were crushed when Fede Valverde's injury-time goal was ruled out by VAR.

Here, we take a look at five talking points from the five-goal thriller as Real Madrid suffered their second defeat in as many games.


#5 Real Madrid should probably switch to three-at-the-back

Real Madrid
Real Madrid's defending was questionable tonight

Zinedine Zidane has always preferred a four-man backline during his time in charge of Real Madrid. It has worked out for him as Dani Carvajal, Marcelo, Sergio Ramos and Raphael Varane rarely pick up injuries. With all his options at right-back out injured though, he had to start a left-footed Ferland Mendy in the position.

The French defender is a really good full-back, but visibly struggled in an unfamiliar position. He needed an extra touch or two to get the ball to his favoured left foot before he could release a pass. It was clear that it would be difficult to continue with the current four-man backline without a specialist right-back.

Madrid have three great centre-backs in Sergio Ramos, Raphael Varane and Eder Militao and can make a three-man defence work. With Casemiro as a defensive midfielder in front of them, they should not face a lot of problems containing their opponents.

Marcelo as a wing-back on the left flank could really benefit from the transition, while he could be partnered up with either Asensio or Rodrygo on the right.


#4 The good luck charm of the new stadium has worn off

Real Madrid v Shakhtar Donetsk: Group B - UEFA Champions League
Real Madrid v Shakhtar Donetsk: Group B - UEFA Champions League

Real Madrid had been enjoying a great run at their temporary home that is the Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano. They had a 100% record there until their 1-0 defeat to Cadiz on Saturday.

Now with a shock defeat to Shakhtar Donetsk, they have lost their second game at the venue. On top of that, they have already conceded twice the amount of goals this season than they shipped in the six games at the venue last season.

Real Madrid have had a better record in their away games this season and that might be good news for them. They travel to Barcelona this weekend in the first El Clasico of the season and would not have wanted to take on their arch-rivals at home, given their recent form.


Also See: Elche vs. Valencia prediction, preview, team news and more | La Liga 2020-21

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Published 22 Oct 2020, 07:42 IST
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