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Immediate Reaction: Real Madrid 2 - 1 Shakhtar Donetsk, Champions League 2022 - 2023

Ancelotti’s men create an absurd amount of chances and come away with a W

Real Madrid v Shakhtar Donetsk: Group F - UEFA Champions League Photo by Mateo Villalba/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Real Madrid 2 - 1 Shakhtar Donetsk (Rodrygo, Vinicius; Zubkov). Here’s our quick reaction at the final whistle. Still to come: Statistical analysis, post-game quotes, post-game podcast, player ratings, and more.

The way the game started, it was on pace for a plethora of goals, a grossly-widened gap in the scoreline, and a nice net-positive addition to the goal-differential. An important bonus, of course, would’ve been several players padding their stats, and in particular, Karim Benzema could’ve benefited the most in a nice confidence-boosting game.

It was exciting to watch Real Madrid play in the first half. The quartet of Karim Benzema, Fede Valverde, Rodrygo Goes, and Vinicius Jr were all linking up together beautifully. Benzema had four key passes at half-time, while Vinicius Jr had five shots and some dazzling dribbles which brought the Bernabeu to its feet.

Rodrygo, who on paper was playing as a right-winger, was far from that. He played as a 10, and played his role perfectly. He drifted to both flanks and roamed all over the field, connecting freely with everyone. He provided vertical outlets for both Toni Kroos and Aurelien Tchouameni, and played tight-knit football with the rest of the attack. With Rodrygo playing a fluid role, Fede Valverde and Dani Carvajal took the right wing.

Rodrygo opened up the scoring in the 13th minute:

13 minutes later, Real Madrid’s attacking quartet played some beautiful football to rip through Shakhtar:

But as many chances as Real Madrid generated, their finishing boots weren’t on. Carlo Ancelotti’s men had 35 attempts on goal, 13 of them on target. The two goals above were the only two they scored all night, and Shakhtar Donetsk pulled one back in the first half through an Oleksandr Zubkov strike:

We’ll break this down in much more detail in the coming hours both in written and podcast form. Join us live on Zoom tonight at 6pm EST. Link here.

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