Eden Hazard was one of the few rare bright spots for Real Madrid as they suffered a shock 1-2 loss to minnows Sheriff Tiraspol in the UEFA Champions League.
Real Madrid were on the receiving end of one of the biggest upsets of the season as they were defeated 1-2 by Champions League debutants, Sheriff Tiraspol, at the Santiago Bernabeu on Tuesday night.
It was a proper David vs Goliath encounter, Real Madrid were expected to win despite Sheriff having already taken a big scalp in Shakhtar Donetsk early in the season. However, the script went out of the window in the 25th minute when Jasurbek Yakhshiboev headed in a sumptuous cross from Cristiano to put the Moldovan outfit in front.
Real Madrid ramped up the pressure after going behind with the likes of Vinicius Junior, Karim Benzema and Eden Hazard coming close but no inroads were made before half-time. The same trend continued after the break as well, until Los Blancos won a penalty for a foul on Vinicius, which Benzema converted to level things up.
Only a few minutes later, Sheriff had the ball into the net again, through Bruno, but the goal was chalked off for offside. At the other end, Real Madrid pressed in search for a winner, but Georgios Athanasiadis made some top saves to keep the visitors level before Sebastien Thill produced a spectacular strike from outside the box to fire Sheriff to a shock victory at the Bernabeu.
– Founded in 1997
– Total market value of $13.61M
– First ever season playing in the #UCL
Sheriff Tiraspol have pulled off one of the biggest upsets in UCL history 😱 pic.twitter.com/CZYD7szAPD
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) September 28, 2021
Real Madrid stay in second place in Group D after Inter Milan and Shakhtar Donetsk played out a draw while Sheriff sit at the top with six points. Here are our player ratings for Carlo Ancelotti’s men.
Thibaut Courtois: 5/10
Nervy. The Belgian international played several risky passes out from the back, even gifting Sheriff the ball which could have led to a goal in the first half. Did not show enough command in the box and looked shaky when the opposition pressed him. Beaten easily for both goals.
Another game as a full-back, another where he did not convince. Did not offer much in terms of attacking contribution throughout the game and allowed Cristiano too much space for the cross for the opening goal.
Eder Militao: 5/10
Not the steadiest of displays from the Brazilian. Made a few interventions and was generally assured on the ball but there were a few occasions when he put his team under pressure with some risky passes.
David Alaba: 4/10
One of his poorer performances since arriving at Real Madrid in the summer. Lost Yakhshiboev for the opening goal, allowing him plenty of room to run in and head the ball into the net. Did play some nice passes forward but did not look assured enough in defence.
Miguel Gutierrez: 5/10
Reinstated to the starting XI, the Real Madrid youngster did not have the best of games, much like the rest of the defence. Had a few moments when he got forward and delivered some decent crosses but was not able to do so on a consistent basis. Caught out of position for the opener.
Federico Valverde: 6/10
🗣 Fede Valverde: “Unfortunately we haven’t got what we wanted from the game tonight. We’re disappointed and angry. We could’ve scored to win the game, but that’s football – when one team scores the other can’t and everything goes against you.” pic.twitter.com/9M9OkahUr3
— 𝗥𝗠𝗢𝗻𝗹𝘆 (@ReaIMadridOnly) September 29, 2021
Moved back into his preferred position on the right of a midfield three, the Uruguayan looked much more at home and was his busy self, cutting out attacks and making driving runs forward on the ball. Has played every game this season, showing how important he is in Ancelotti’s setup.
Not good enough from the Brazilian enforcer who did not always look in control when dealing with the Sheriff counterattacks. Saw plenty of the ball on the night, but was not able to make incisive forward passes and was largely passive with his distribution.
Eduardo Camavinga: 5/10
Making his first start for Real Madrid in the Champions League, the youngster did not seem overawed by the occasion and tried to get on the ball to make things happen. But not everything he tried paid off on the night. Faded with time.
Eden Hazard: 7/10
Eden Hazard involved in both of Real Madrid’s biggest chances in this 1st half. ✅
He makes a great run in behind and gets a great shot away that is saved by the keeper.
He then plays a great ball from the left-wing to Benzema who gets a decent shot away. pic.twitter.com/EhCxIUJ9BP
— Felix ⭐️⭐️ (@cfc_felix_) September 28, 2021
Coming into the starting XI at the expense of Rodrygo, Eden Hazard played one of his better games in recent memory in a Real Madrid shirt. Looked lively from the off, his dribbling looking effortless and threatening. Created chances for his teammates while he even tested the opposition goalkeeper on either side of half-time. Must build on this performance.
Karim Benzema: 7/10
Worked tirelessly at the top to try and make things happen and came close on a couple of occasions in the first half but couldn’t find the back of the net. Clinical from the penalty spot to level things up for Real Madrid, which put him fourth on the list of all-time leading goalscorers in the competition behind just Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Robert Lewandowski.
Vinicius Junior: 6.5/10
Looked bright as usual, but lacked that clinical edge that he has shown in his game this season. Often ran into cul-de-sacs meaning moves came to an end, while his decision-making and shooting was also dodgy at times. Did well to win the penalty that offered Real Madrid a chance to equalise and get back into the game.
Vinicius winning the penalty for Benzema's equalizer 🪄💫 pic.twitter.com/hQA5hqP9YI
— ً (@ViniXtra) September 28, 2021
Toni Kroos: 6/10
On for Gutierrez in the 66th minute to make his return from injury. The minutes will do him a world of good.
Luka Jovic: 4/10
Came on for Hazard right after the equaliser and then missed a great chance to score. Booked late on.
Luka Modric: 6/10
On for Casemiro for the final 25 minutes. Real Madrid’s attack improved with him on the field. Had a shot saved.
Lively after coming on for Nacho in the 66th minute. However, failed to bury a chance to put Real Madrid in the lead.