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Los Blancos faced another defeat, this time against Shakhtar in the first Champions League game of the season. The CB pair Varane and Militão didn’t play well together once again, after the elimination against Manchester City. Kiyan covered this defeat in the Immediate Reaction article: highlighting that there is no cohesion between Varane and Militão. Further, Militão was out of position many times during the game. Marcelo was also out of position defensively many times. There was some improvement in the second half, but Shakhtar missed two incredible chances as well. It seems that the team can’t do without Ramos in the Champions League. As Marca reported, this is our 7th loss out of 8 Champions League games without Ramos. Hopefully, Ramos will be back on Saturday.
Onto El Clasico
The focus now shifts to Barcelona. The Catalans are riding high after coming off a big win against Ferencvaros and appear to be in better shape heading into the game. They’ve also had an extra day of rest. Zidane has to figure out what to do at right back after the Mendy experiment didn’t seem to pan out. Additionally all Madridistas will be collectively praying that Ramos will be back. His leadership is solely missed when he is out.
Florentino’s three minute visit to the dressing room: Marca
The Spanish daily proclaimed that it’s normal for Perez to visit the dressing room following a match, but this time his visit was much briefer as this wasn’t a night for casual conversations. It’s cover had the title “Every day it’s worse: Madrid on a free fall.. and Saturday Barcelona.” Zidane will certainly find the seat getting a bit hotter but he’s no stranger to pressure. For his part the coach stated that he was responsible and needs to find solutions for his players on the pitch.
Group B is wide open after Inter’s draw
There was small consolation after Inter Milan also dropped points yesterday against Borrussia Monchengladbach. Inter along with Madrid are the favorites to progress to the knockout rounds. The group is therefore wide open after the first match day but Madrid cannot afford another display like the one against Shakhtar. Elsewhere Bayern thrashed Atletico Madrid 4-0, Liverpool saw off Ajax 1-0 and Manchester City beat Porto 3-1.