Real Madrid, the most successful club in the history of the UEFA Champions League, may just be on the brink of elimination from the group stage after a poor 2-0 defeat at Shakhtar Donestk on Tuesday on Matchday 5. Los Blancos had the chances to take command of the game, but poor execution in the final third and some fine saves by Anatoliy Tubin helped the Ukrainian side to three huge points at home, completing the double over Real. This result means Shakhtar now own the head-to-head tiebreaker over Real, should it come to it.
Detinho scored the winner in the 57th minute while Manor Solomon put it away in the 82nd.
Real Madrid now find themselves in third place in Group B with one game to go against leader Borussia Monchengladbach, who play Inter Milan later in the day.
Real may to need to earn more points than Shakhtar on Matchday 6 to advance, pending the Gladbach-Inter result
Zidane is probably playing for his job next week
If Real Madrid don't advance to the round of 16 it would likely be the end of Zidane's second stint at Madrid. Although Zidane remained defiant after the match, proclaiming he would not resigns, Madrid have always made it out of the group stage, and it's a shocking upset when this team doesn't make at least the semifinals. Coaches have been fired for much less, even after title-winning campaigns. Though, perhaps none with Zidane's stature.
Real have won just one of their last five matches in all competitions, scoring five goals and conceding nine in the process. The pressure is on like never before for Zidane. The first time he left the club it was on his own terms, it looks increasingly likely that won't be the case this time around.
Another day of wasted chances for Real Madrid
Real Madrid were fairly sharp early and ended the match with 14 shots, but the left post and the goalkeeper denied Marco Asensio of arguably the two best chances. As the match was slipping away, a triple-change of Vinicius Junior, Mariano and Isco was supposed to turn this match on its head, but it didn't happen.
Mariano and Isco didn't even record a single shot, while Vinicius only had one..
In fact, Real's starting defense had one less shot than the starting front line. The opportunities were there early, the club relied on more chances from distance as the game went on, so much so that while Madrid's shot count doubled Shaktar's seven, the expected goal count was even 1.43 to 1.43 at the end of the match. Madrid's futility paved the way for what ended up as a another shock result.
Shakhtar join small group and deserve it
Real Madrid had only lost to a club twice in the same group stage twice in their history before Wednesday, with it happening against Juventus in 2008-9 and CSKA Moscow two seasons ago. Shakhtar join that small, prestigious group with their completely convincing performance. They had to sit back a bit when Real dominated possession, but they got forward in numbers and looked like a threat doing it. They might have only taken seven shots, but they were high quality, and they put half of their four shots on goal in the back of the net.
For a team that completed 150 fewer passes than Madrid, they made every bit of possession count. Both of their goals came on the counter attack, and both came on breaks that saw Shakhtar go 4-on-3 in the final third.
Here's the first:
Here's the second:
Shakhtar made the most of their time with the ball, capitalizing on that 41.7 percent possession.