Real Madrid’s 2-0 loss to Shakhtar Donetsk this past Tuesday was problematic for coach Zinedine Zidane and his men, but it could’ve been much worse if it weren’t for Inter Milan, who beat Borussia Monchenladbach and increased Madrid’s odds of advancing to the Round of 16.
Here’s what needs to happen in order for Real Madrid to play Champions League football after the Group Stage.
- Any win against Gladbach clinches Madrid’s presence in the Round of 16. All in all, it’s quite simple. Real Madrid will be hosting the German side with the certainty that a win in that game will make them advance to the Round of 16, no matter what Shakhtar and Inter do. In fact, a Real Madrid win combined with Inter scoring at least one point against Shakhtar would allow Madrid to win the group.
- A draw combined with Shakhtar losing against Inter would also allow Madrid to go through. It’s not the ideal scenario because of how nerve-wrecking it’d be —especially during the last minutes of both games— but Real Madrid would advance to the Round of 16 if they draw against Gladbach and Inter Milan beat Shakhtar. The Italian side can advance to the Round of 16 themselves and need to win, so that one will be an interesting game to watch as well.
If Real Madrid lose against Gladbach they would automatically be out of the Champions League.
It’s been a while since Los Blancos don’t face this kind of situation in the Group Stage, but they put themselves here by losing to Shakhtar twice, the same Shakhtar team who conceded 10 goals against Gladbach over just two games. Simply put, Madrid have not taken care of business but still have every chance of going through and maybe even win the group and enter the Round of 16 draw as a seeded team.
Madrid can’t think about the match against Gladbach yet, though, as they will face Sevilla this Saturday in what’s expected to be a tough away game which could very well decide their fate in this 2020-2021 edition of La Liga.