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Immediate Reaction: Real Madrid 1-2 Sheriff Tiraspol

Embarrassing loss for Real Madrid.

Real Madrid v FC Sheriff Tiraspol - UEFA Champions League Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images

Real Madrid earned an embarrassing 1-2 loss at home against Sheriff Tiraspol in what was a historic night for the visitors. Here’s the immediate reaction of the nightmare.

  • Real Madrid created more than enough chances to score but failed establishing themselves and controlling the tempo of the game effectively. Yes, Ancelotti’s men dominated as soon as Sheriff scored the opening goal, but it was more due to courage and classic madridismo heroics rather than high-quality football. Kroos will definitely solve a big part of this issue when he’s 100% ready to play and make a big impact, as Madrid need him.
  • The defense was terrible on Sheriff’s opening goal and Madrid are in trouble with their fullbacks. Nacho completed yet another worrying performance, this time on the right side of the defensive line. Miguel, although very capable on offense —his crosses are brilliant— is very green and unreliable defensively. Furthermore, Casemiro is not in great form and isn’t helping much defensively these days. All in all, Madrid’s defensive stability is nowhere to be found.
  • Real Madrid had no answers to Sheriff’s defensive system other than crossing. Ancelotti chose chaos and disorder to win the game and Madrid relied too heavily on crossing the ball against Sheriff’s defensive line and midfield, who were all inside the box clearing the danger time and time again. Seeing Camavinga playing the left-back spot was surprising, to say the least, and a bit too desperate.
  • Madrid are in a tough spot. If the performance against Villarreal was worrying, this was a debacle. Ancelotti’s men are still leading La Liga and have every chance to win their group in the Champions League, but momentum has shifted very rapidly after what was a promising start of the 2021-2022 season and Madrid have very serious issues.