Facing Scottish opposition in a competitive fixture for the first time since May 11th, 1983, when Sir Alex Ferguson’s Aberdeen overcame Real Madrid to win the Cup Winners’ Cup, Real Madrid emerged victorious with a 3-0 victory over Celtic.
Goals from Vinícius Júnior, Luka Modrić and substitute Eden Hazard sealed the win after an intense first period which saw Celtic mount 18 attacks compared to Real Madrid’s 16.
Here are three stats to understand a memorable evening for Carlo Ancelotti’s side.
1: Real Madrid’s first ever win at Celtic Park
This was only Real Madrid’s second ever visit to Celtic Park, having been beaten 2-0 in the first leg of the 1979/80 European Cup quarter-finals before winning the return leg 3-0 at the Estadio Santiago Bernabéu.
Last time Real Madrid won a competitive game against a Scottish team in Glasgow, it was Ferenc Puskás who scored an 86th minute winner against Rangers at Ibrox in a 1-0 win in the first round of the 1963/64 European Cup. That victory was the only time Real Madrid had previously won in Scotland.
Champions League trips to Scotland have been few and far between in recent years, with the 2021 friendly against Rangers being the most memorable visit since the 2002 Champions League final at Hampden Park before Tuesday evening.
This was also the second win on British soil since October 22nd, 2014, when Brendan Rodgers’ Liverpool were thrashed 3-0 at Anfield. Since then, the 3-1 Champions League quarter-final first leg win over Chelsea last season had been the only victory across the last eight years, with four defeats and two draws in the other six outings over that time period.
As the kings of Europe, re-establishing this fear factor and dominance across nations has been part of the confidence of Real Madrid, and resetting a more difficult run of results in the United Kingdom is a positive ahead of any potential clashes later on in the tournament.
100: Champions League appearances for Real Madrid for Luka Modrić
Tuesday night was a memorable one for Luka Modrić as the Croatian made his 100th Champions League appearance for Real Madrid, becoming only the eigth man to reach the landmark for the club.
The Croatian joins the club’s historic rankings behind Iker Casillas (150), Raúl (130), Sergio Ramos (129), Karim Benzema (124), Roberto Carlos (107), Marcelo (102) and Cristiano Ronaldo (101). An illustrious club to be a part of.
He celebrated with his first Champions League goal in 25 games, dating back to the opening game of the 2020/21 campaign against Shakhtar Donetsk, and his seventh across the 100 games he has played to date.
Throughout that period, he has lifted the trophy an incredible five times, matching Benzema and Marcelo among those to have played in more games than him.
There is also the distinct possibility that he could overtake the likes of Roberto Carlos, Marcelo and Cristiano Ronaldo in the coming weeks, despite an intense fixture list, and put himself fifth in the rankings.
Modrić’s place in the Real Madrid hall of fame was already well assured, but stats like this one only serve to further cement his position as one of the greatest players in the club’s history.
650: Days since Eden Hazard’s last Champions League goal
On appearance number 69, Eden Hazard scored his 7th goal for Real Madrid and his second in 15 Champions League outings. The last goal was quite some time ago, 650 days to be precise.
It came on November 25th, 2020, against Inter in a 2-0 group stage win. Since then, he has started just two Champions League games and played only 83 minutes across three matches in last year’s successful run to win the trophy. He’s already 72% of the way to matching that after one match this season, having replaced Karim Benzema on 30 minutes.
229 days have passed since he last scored for Real Madrid at all, in a 2-1 AET Copa del Rey win away at Elche. This goal comes on a much more prestigious stage and could have much more of an impact on his Real Madrid career.
What’s more, 1,050 days have passed since Hazard registered a Champions League assist, coming on October 22, 2019, against Galatasaray, his only European assist for Los Blancos. In domestic competition, it was 244 days ago against Alcoyano in the Copa del Rey.
This time, at Celtic Park, it was quite some goal. It came after 33 uninterrupted passes, the longest build-up for a Real Madrid goal in the Champions League since records began in 2003/04.