Real Madrid loses again, putting Champions League record on the line

Real Madrid
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Shakhtar Donetsk – Real Madrid: Most would’ve assumed that if Real Madrid had any struggles in the UEFA Champions League group stage, those would come at the hands of Borussia Monchengladbach and Inter Milan in Group B.

Yet Los Meringues have taken zero points from Shakhtar Donetsk, admittedly no minnows, after home-and-away matches with the Ukrainian side this season.

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The first loss was a shocking home defeat at the Bernabeu, Shakhtar building a 3-0 lead and holding on for a one-goal win despite missing 10 players through injury and positive COVID-19 tests.

Tuesday’s 2-0 loss was less of a surprise due mostly a mix of memories of the first result and the long trip to Ukraine.

Real held a 15-7 edge in attempts including eight on target to go with 59 percent possession, but Shakhtar’s dangerous moments were high quality.

La Liga’s powers have never failed at the group stage.

Still, it’s an odd result to see and will have Group B a mess heading into the final match day regardless of what happens between Borussia Monchengladbach and Inter Milan in Germany.

Scoreless after the break, a Raphael Varane error helped veteran midfielder Dentinho put Shakhtar up 1-0 in the 55th minute.

The insurance goal was a rocket from 21-year-old Israeli playmaker Manor Solomon to leave Thibaut Courtois pawing at air.

Both sides now have seven points and Shakhtar has hold of the tiebreakers over Real due to the sweep. Real is home to Gladbach to close out the group stage, who opens the day with eight points but would be uncatchable if it picks up three points against Inter Milan at home. Inter opens the day with five points and hosts Shakhtar on the final day.

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