Real Madrid vs Shakhtar: match report

On September 15, in the first leg of the Champions League group stage, the Pitmen faced Real Madrid.

UEFA Champions League 2015-16. Group stage. 1st round

September 15, 2015. Madrid. Santiago Bernabeu. 16C

Real Madrid (Spain) 4-0 (1-0) Shakhtar (Donetsk, Ukraine)

Goals: 1:0 Benzema (30), 2:0 Ronaldo (55 pen.), 3:0 Ronaldo (63 pen.), 4:0 Ronaldo (81)

Real Madrid: Navas, Varane (Pepe, 46), Ramos (c), (Nacho, 59), Marcelo, Carvajal, Kroos, Bale (Kovacic, 31), Modric, Isco, Ronaldo, Benzema

Substitutes: Casilla, Casemiro, Cheryshev, Hese

Head coach: Rafael Benitez

Shakhtar: Pyatov, Srna (c), Kucher, Rakytskyy, Azevedo, Stepanenko, Fred, Teixeira, Taison (Malyshev, 67), Marlos (Kovalenko, 74), Gladkyy (Bernard, 82)
Substitutes: Kanibolotskyy, Ordets, Dentinho, Eduardo

Head coach: Mircea Lucescu

Booked: Stepanenko (32), Srna (54), Kucher (75), Malushev (80)

Sent off: Stepanenko (50, second booking)

Referee: Ivan Bebek (Croatia)

Before match

The teams fielded full-strength squads for the match at Santiago Bernabeu, except for Pepe, who was left on the subs’ bench. The Pitmen’s head coach Mircea Lucescu employed Azevedo at left back in the starting eleven.

First half

Real Madrid started the game energetically; they took two corner kicks and started troubling the Pitmen’s defence. Benzema had the most dangerous chance as he fired the ball over the crossbar from a good position. Ronaldo hit the target. Gradually, Shakhtar adapted to the game, controlled the ball for longer periods, which resulted in the local fans booing our team. Curious episode took place near Real Madrid goal after a defender’s back pass to goalkeeper Navas – the Madrid side cleared the danger.

After a cross from Darijo Srna, Alex Teixeira let the ball roll but none of his team-mates understood the idea. On 30 minutes, the hosts opened the scoring: Andriy Pyatov failed to cover the ball when rushing out of goal, only for Benzema to send the ball into unguarded net to make it 1-0. After that, the Pitmen tried to streamline their attacking actions, and Real Madrid threatened with a Modric shot that flew wide of the target. The first half finished with Real Madrid enjoying a narrow lead.

Second half

After the half time break, Shakhtar started playing more energetically, but on 50 minutes they were reduced to ten men – Taras Stepanenko got the second yellow card for his foul in the opposition half of the pitch. Soon the referee awarded a penalty kick against the Pitmen, when the ball hit Srna’s back, not his hand. Ronaldo converted a spot kick, although Pyatov guessed the shot direction right, - 2-0. Oleksandr Gladkyy had a decent chance after a Srna cross but headed the ball wide.

On 64 minutes, the referee awarded another penalty kick against the Pitmen – the ball first hit the hand of Real Madrid’s defender Carvajal and then an Azevedo hand. Ronaldo fired into the same corner, Pyatov jumped to the opposite side – 3-0. Mircea Lucescu made his first substitution on 67 minutes, fielding Maksym Malyshev, and a little later it was Viktor Kovalenko who took to the pitch. Both players made their debut in the Champions League.

Malyshev took a decent shot goal wards following a pass from Texeira but missed the target. Real Madrid had a number of chances but the ball flew wide. On 81 minutes, Pyatov parried away a powerful shot from Marcelo, only for Ronaldo to seize on the rebound to seal his hat trick. Soon the Pitmen’s goalkeeper made a save following a curling shot from Benzema. In the closing stages of the game Teixeira played a one-two with Kovalenko before taking a shot from the edge of the penalty area – the opposition goalkeeper had to do his best to make a save following a deflection.

As a result, Real Madrid secured a 4-0 win. Shakhtar will play their next Champions League on 30 September in Lviv against PSG.