Shakhtar Donetsk 1-1 Real Madrid (Antonio Rüdiger). Here is the immediate reaction to the defeat. Still to come: press conference details, player ratings and the ManagingMadrid podcast.
A win away to Shakhtar Donetsk would pretty much put Real Madrid through to the knock out rounds of the Champions League once more. Los Blancos had won their previous three battles with the Ukrainians, but they fared reasonably well in the two before that. Thibaut Courtois remained out injured, with Andriy Lunin receiving a decent string of games for the first time in his Madrid career. Dani Carvajal would join the big Belgian in the injury room, as Lucas Vázquez provided cover at full-back. Nacho Fernández started in centre-back, with the only other interesting selection probably being Eden Hazard in the attack. Karim Benzema captained the team.
The changes to the team didn’t seem to have the energetic effect that Carlo Ancelotti would have been hoping for, and despite seeing a healthy amount of the ball - Real Madrid were unable to create a decent chance for the first 15 minutes of the game. Karim Benzema finally forced the goalkeeper into making a fantastic save after pouncing on a cross. The home side had a penalty shout denied after a forward was brought down, and almost went ahead minutes later after an effort was really well blocked. Benzema would then try his luck again but the keeper matched it once more with a low save. Rodrygo Goes would be next in on the action, driving towards goal - but yet again the keeper was on hand to make a great stop. The Shakhtar keeper continued his fine individual display when he denied Fede Valerde from distance just before half time. Madrid went into the break the slightly better side, but they would have to produce something special to beat this goalkeeper.
Nacho great. 1v1 defending on Zubkov on point. 3 big defensive interventions. Rudiger's coverage also very good. Real Madrid are holding a very high line trying to break this low block and those two have been a huge reason why it's worked defensively.— Kiyan Sobhani (@KiyanSo) October 11, 2022
The second half could not have started any worse for Real Madrid as the hosts took the lead within a minute. A ball came into the box and it was headed beyond Andriy Lunin easily. Madrid reacted well as Aurélien Tchouaméni came close from a corner but could not take his chance. Vinícius Júnior came on for Eden Hazard to try and change the game, with Luka Modrić also entering the fray. The Brazilian would almost claim an assist when he set up Ferland Mendy to shoot over. The home side then had another go, as they hit the crossbar from close range - giving Los Blancos a massive let off. Lunin then had to make a great save to keep it at 1-0. The talented Mykhailo Mudryk then shot just wide to keep Shakhtar on a dangerous spell. Toni Kroos would turn the game back in Madrid’s favour when he shot just wide of the post from an incoming cross. Time was running out, and Madrid would have five added minutes to give their final efforts. After a quiet four minutes, Madrid would manage to salvage something in the final minute. Toni Kroos would play a good ball into Antonio Rüdiger who won his aerial duel well and headed past the keeper to score. He spent a while down injured after doing so, but his goal meant that Real Madrid would leave with a point after the game finished 1-1. Madrid now only need a point from their next two games to progress into the next phase of the competition.