Against Sheriff, Real Madrid ‘s defense features 5/10 from Alaba and Courtois.
Real Madrid were humiliated 2-1 at home by FC Sheriff Tiraspol in the Champions League on Tuesday,
despite a Karim Benzema penalty.
Benzema’s free kick was deflected over the bar by goalie Georgios Athanasiadis after Vinicius Jr. had a shot blocked, and Fede Valverde had a shot blocked before Sheriff scored after 25 minutes. Left unmarked, Jasurbek Yakhshiboev powered a header past Thibaut Courtois after Cristiano sent a cross from the left flank. A group of players led by Vinicius Jr., Casemiro, and Hazard, as well as Miguel Gutierrez and Eden Hazard, came close to equalizing for Real Madrid.
To start the second half, Hazard took a low shot at Athanasiadis before Vinicius Jr. was whistled for handball and Benzema was fouled. Sebastien Thill scored a thrilling late winner with a booming strike from outside the box into the top corner after Sheriff Bruno had a goal disallowed for offside. Madrid’s replacements, Rodrygo Goes and Luka Jovic, also squandered wonderful opportunities.
Sheriff may not have been the most exciting opponents, but this was an important game for Real Madrid
because it was the first Champions League encounter at the Bernabeu since February 2020. Despite not winning the Champions League for almost 18 months, the return of Europe’s top club championship to this stadium was a momentous occasion for everyone involved, regardless of how the game turned out.
Hazard had a perfect opportunity to show he’s back to his former self against a beatable opponent at home, playing off Benzema and having the freedom to roam and room to work in. However, until he was substituted, he was Madrid’s finest and most proactive player; he simply did not score the goal he deserved for his efforts.
This was the latest and arguably biggest shock for Real Madrid in recent Champions League group-stage blunders—draws or defeats in meetings with Shakhtar Donetsk, Club Brugge, CSKA Moscow, and Legia Warsaw come to mind. Madrid has never failed to advance from the group stage, so none of these results really matter.
After conceding two goals much too easily, the Madrid defense will be scrutinized once more. Right defender Cristiano had all the time in the world to cross and Yakhshiboev couldn’t believe how much space he had to shoot past Courtois with confidence for Sheriff’s opening score of 1. As with Thill’s stunning winner, it reverberated across Europe. An embarrassing defeat for Carlo Ancelotti’s squad.
The scale of managerial evaluation from 1 to 10
Luka Modric was replaced by Camavinga in midfield, and Hazard was inserted behind Benzema as Ancelotti made three changes from the team that drew 0-0 with Villarreal the weekend before. After creating numerous chances in the first half, the team was undone by a lapse in concentration on the defensive end.
After Benzema’s equalizer, the manager made a game-changing quadruple substitution,
removing both full-backs and bringing on Modric, Toni Kroos, Rodrygo, and Jovic. It appeared to be working until they again conceded due to an error.
Ratings from 1 to 10 (with 1 being the best and 10 being the worst). Introducing new players after 70 minutes has little effect on how they’re rated.
GK Thibaut Courtois, 5 — Both goals were conceded and conceded cheaply. In the first half, a botched clearance attempt came dangerously close to handing the ball back to Sheriff.
DF Nacho, 7 –: Changing back to right-back from left-back was a bit of a challenge. His close-range header went wide in the first half when he had a chance to score. When playing full-back, he gets forward well, but he gets snared when defending.
DF David Alaba, 5. His set-piece delivery is effective, and he scored two good free kicks in this match. Yakhshiboev’s lack of room to head Sheriff into the lead frustrated him greatly.
DF Eder Militao, 6 Madrid fought for the win, and he had a chance to score with a header in the second half that went wide.
DF Miguel Gutierrez, 5 shot high and wide in the first half. Yet another raw talent who appears to be more effective moving forward than on the back end of the field. For the Sheriff goal, I was out of position.
MF Casemiro, 6—an In the first half, he appeared irritated and was shown a yellow card. Removed just as Madrid was getting ready to strike.
MF Fede Valverde, 7 ,After a disastrous weekend as a full-back, he’s returned to his natural position in midfield. On the right side, he appears to be growing more at ease. That’s where he should be in the short-to-medium term.
MF Eduardo Camavinga, 6 A year after beginning for Rennes in the Champions League, he appeared unfazed by his first start for Real Madrid, although he also didn’t excel. There was one nice touch in the box in the first half to beat a defender, but that was it.
FW Eden Hazard, 7 — Madrid’s happiest player, in my opinion. Benzema and Valverde linked beautifully early on, and either side of halftime, Valverde tested Athanasiadis in goal.
FW Vinicius Junior, 7 – is an FW First-half decisions weren’t quite right, as he took too long on one shot and then floated another harmlessly wide. Much improved in the second half,
as he won the penalty that brought Madrid back to within one goal of them.
FW Karim Benzema, 7 In the first half, he saw a free kick saved and a shot curled wide. With his second-half penalty, he overtook Raul as the competition’s all-time leading scorer,
moving up to fourth place behind Lewandowski, Messi, and Ronaldo in the process.
MF Luka Modric, 7 — Athanasiadis’ head blocked his shot, and he had a chance to score.
MF Toni Kroos, 7 returned from a groin ailment that kept him out last season for his first action this season.
FW Rodrygo, 7 Rodrygo RodryPlayed an important role in a great move down the right, but his chance to score was squandered due to the lack of a final ball.
FW Luka Jovic, 6, He had an opportunity to put the ball in the back of the net shortly after coming on, but his touch let him down once again.
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