Match Recap – Champions League: Real Madrid v Shakhtar Donetsk

17 Sep
MADRID, SPAIN - SEPTEMBER 15: General view of the Santiago Bernabeu stadium ahead of the UEFA Champions League Group A match between Real Madrid and Shakhtar Donetsk at estadio Santiago Bernabeu on September 15, 2015 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)

MADRID, SPAIN – SEPTEMBER 15: General view of the Santiago Bernabeu stadium ahead of the UEFA Champions League Group A match between Real Madrid and Shakhtar Donetsk at estadio Santiago Bernabeu on September 15, 2015 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)

IT’S THE CHAMPIONS! I love Champions League. There’s something great about it. It’s special. It’s different. I don’t know, it’s just amazing.

We hosted Shakhtar Donetsk at the Bernabeu on Tuesday for our opening match on our way to La Undecima.

Pre-Match Social Media:

James worked out in front of a reminder that we’re AWESOME at Champions League

Starting Lineups:

Real Madrid: Keylor Navas; Dani Carvajal, Sergio Ramos, Raphael Varane, Marcelo; Toni Kroos, Luka Modric, Isco; Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema, Cristiano Ronaldo

Madrid starters

Shakhtar Donetsk: Andriy Pyatov; Darijo Srna, Oleksander Kucher, Yaroslav Rakytskiy, Marcio Azevedo; Fred, Taras Stepanenko, Marlos, Alex Teixeira, Taison; Oleksandr Gladkyy


I have to do another fly by, but I’ll try to add a lot of fun to it.


Our first real chance of the match came in the 14th minute. Carvajal played a nice cross into Bale but Pyatov made the save. Then Benz had a chance very quickly but it was over the bar.

In the 29th minute Bale hit the deck. Unfortunately he had a problem with his calf and had to be taken off.

BUT we got our first goal in the 30th minute! Benz was there to pounce on it when the Shakhtar keeper dropped Isco’s crossed.

Bale was replaced by Kovacic shortly after.

The first yellow card of the game came in the 32nd minute. Stepanenko was booked for a foul on Cris.

We had a couple more chances but the half ended with just the one goal. Real Madrid 1-0 Shakhtar Donetsk.

Second Half:

We started the half with Pepe instead of Varane. I was sad to see The Baby subbed and hoped that he wasn’t injured.

In the 50th minute Stepanenko  was sent off. He went flying into our Pony. It was definitely a deserved red card.

We won a penalty (and I won’t lie, it wasn’t deserved) in the 54th minute. Srna was also booked for a handball that wasn’t. The ball hit him on the back. Unfortunate for Shakhtar but Ronnie, of course, scored the penalty and made it 2-0 to Real Madrid.

Shakhtar had a chance in the 58th minute but Gladkyy’s header was just wide. Then in the 59th minute, The Pony had to be subbed for Nacho due to a knock.

We earned another penalty in the 63rd minute. And again Ronnie converted. 3-0 to Real Madrid!

Shakhtar’s first sub was in the 67th minute. Malyshev replaced Taison.

Then in the 75th minute Kovalenko replaced Marlos. Shortly after Kucher was booked for a bad challenge on Marcelo.

The next booking was in the 80th minute when Malyshev was booked for a late challenge on Dani.

In the 81st minute, Cris got his second hat trick in two games!

In the 82nd minute, Shakhtar made their final substitution. I got my little man Bernard when he replaced Gladkyy.

Pyatov made two excellent saves to deny us any more goals and the match ended Real Madrid 4-0 Shakhtar Donetsk.

Match Photos:

Post-Match Comments:

Benitez post match


Benitez: “Above all, we have attacking prowess”
by Javier Garcia

“I am satisfied because we made the most of our chances and we did not concede any goals”, added the manager.

Rafa Benítez appeared in the press room at the Santiago Bernabéu following his side’s goal fest in the first game of the Champions League: “It was a difficult game. They are a side that manage the game well, although they did not have many chances. They have speed and ability and it was not easy to control all of that. Without having an outstanding game, we had a lot of chances”.

“Above all, we have attacking prowess. I am satisfied because we made the most of our chances and we did not concede. The only negative note was the three players that we had to substitute”.

“I am surprised that you go on and on about what someone says and not about what happens on the pitch and what the team does. I said yesterday that he plays for our team and that he is the best player in the world. I am going to repeat it so that there are no remaining doubts. I know Cristiano Ronaldo’s value and performance level; he is the best in the world and is showing that in games and every training session”.

“He is the best player in the world and, from now onwards, each time that you ask me I am going to say yes, let’s end this issue about what I said and focus on what happens on the pitch”.

“Bale had a spasm in his soleus muscle, in the calf muscle area. We have to wait one or two days. Varane and Ramos received knocks and we will also have to wait and see, although I am more optimistic. I think Gareth had a similar problem last year. We have to wait a little. I am not worried about the injuries, we have had few up until now. Of the three today, two were knocks. The team is doing well in terms of fitness and are generally in good shape”.

“I think he did well, I put him there because the two full-backs were going forward a lot and he was used to playing inside. He gave us width and ball control. If Bale is not available, options open up for any player. Today Kovacic came on because of the match’s characteristics, but Jesé, Lucas and Cheryshev could also have played”.

Benzema post match

Benzema: “Picking up the three points at home was important and we’re happy”

“The team’s getting into a really positive run of form”, said Isco.

Karim Benzema opened the scoring in Real Madrid’s win over Shakhtar Donetsk, and following the final whistle he offered his thoughts on the Whites’ opening Champions League fixture of the season: “The main thing was getting the win. In the first half we struggled for rhythm, and three players getting injured is bad news for us. But the most important thing was picking up the three points at home, and we’re very happy with that”.

“I have a lot of confidence in myself, but the most important thing is that the team gets the win. For me Cristiano Ronaldo is one of the best players in the world”.

Injury victims
“We have a lot of really good players with injuries, but we have a good squad that can overcome that”.

Isco: “The team’s getting into a really positive run of form”
“The team’s getting into a really positive run of form, scoring lots of goals, showing cutting edge up front and yet to concede for the moment. I’m really happy with the way team’s responding”. 

“It’s something that no longer surprises you. Cristiano not scoring to begin with is what’s unusual; what we’ve seen in the most recent games is the norm. I hope he continues in this vein, because it gives the team a real boost”. 

“I try to help the team with the things that I have, I try to improve every day and I have to keep on moving forward. I want to score more goals too. It’s not something that I’m worried about and I’m certain that they’ll come soon”.

“Shakhtar are a team who are very clear on their approach, they like to hold their position and have very quick and dangerous players, and they’re going to be very tough opponents away from home”.

“We have a lot of players in the squad; you get injuries and rotation of personnel. Having James out is an important absence, because he’s a player who gives us a lot and let’s hope that he recovers as soon as possible”.

Nacho: “The goals and the clean sheet are important”
“It’s an important result because of all the goals that we scored and because we kept a clean sheet. As long as we’re picking up the points, that’s always positive. Playing for this team and with these players is really special. The coach knows that I’m ready whenever he needs me, and I’m happy to play as many minutes as I can”. 

“It’s incredible; he never tires of scoring goals, and we know how important he is for our team. Let’s hope that he scores this many goals in the next two games too”.

Rafa Benítez
“The coach knows what kind of player Cristiano is. He knows that he’s the best player around right now, and we’re delighted to have him in our team”.

Our next match is Saturday against Granada at home.

¡Hala Madrid y Nada Mas!


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