Champions League: Shakhtar sink Real Madrid again as Inter keep hopes alive
Shakhtar Donetsk completed a shock Champions League double over Real Madrid on Tuesday, winning 2-0 in Kyiv to leave Zinedine Zidane’s side at risk of going out in the group stage.
Second-half goals from Dentinho and Manor Solomon earned Shakhtar a victory that puts them second in Group B, above Real Madrid based on their head-to-head record having won 3-2 in Madrid in their opening game. Defeat for Real comes after a 2-1 home loss to Alavés in La Liga on Saturday, but Zidane remains defiant.
“I feel strong and as always I’m going to give everything, and so will the players,” Zidane said after the game. “We just have to keep our chins up and focus on the next game. There’s nothing else we can do.
“I’m not going to resign, no way. We played very well in the first half but the ball didn’t want to go in the net. We’re on a bad run of results, that’s a reality, but we have to keep on going. We have one more game [in the group] and we have to win it.”
Real started well, with Marco Asensio hitting the post after five minutes. The Shakhtar striker Júnior Moraes had to go off injured soon after, having being hauled down by Raphaël Varane, who was booked. His replacement, Dentinho, put the hosts ahead in the 57th minute after a lapse in concentration from Varane. Real struggled to create chances in response and were hit on the break with eight minutes to go, as the Israeli forward Solomon sealed victory with a solo run and fine finish.
Elsewhere in Group B, Romelu Lukaku scored twice in the second half as Internazionale won 3-2 at the group leaders, Borussia Mönchengladbach, keeping their hopes of qualifying alive and setting up a dramatic final round of games with all four teams still in the mix.
Matteo Darmian put Inter ahead at Borussia Park, only for Alassane Pléa to equalise on the stroke of half-time. Lukaku fired home clinically in the 64th minute and tapped in his second nine minutes later to make it 3-1. Inter made life difficult for themselves, allowing Pléa to grab a second. The French forward thought he had equalised late on, but VAR came to the visitors’ rescue.
“You need to be a great group [of players], otherwise you don’t come here and win against this Borussia side in great form,” said the Inter coach, Antonio Conte. “We had a great performance, we fully deserved to win. We just could avoid some risks at the end but we are still alive and this is what counts the most.”
In the final round of games, Real Madrid host Mönchengladbach while Shakhtar will take on Internazionale at San Siro.
In Group A, Atlético Madrid could only draw 1-1 at home against a much-changed Bayern Munich. The hosts looked on course to seal their last-16 place when João Félix turned in Marcos Llorente’s cross after 26 minutes. Atlético were unable to make the game safe, however, and paid the price when Thomas Müller converted a late penalty after being brought down in the area by Felipe.
Red Bull Salzburg won 3-1 at Lokomotiv Moscow to give themselves a chance of a surprise last-16 place. Mergim Berisha’s first-half double put the Austrians in control, and the substitute Karim Adeyemi sealed victory after Anton Miranchuk’s penalty for the hosts. Salzburg host Atlético in their final game; a win would send the Austrians through, while Diego Simeone’s side need a draw to qualify.
Cristian Romero’s late header earned Atalanta a useful point at home to Midtjylland, who had threatened to cause an upset after Alexander Scholz put them ahead at the Gewiss Stadium. The Italians cranked up the pressure in the second half and got their reward when the defender Romero scored. Ajax’s 1-0 defeat at Liverpool means Atalanta go to Amsterdam for their final game needing only a draw to advance.
In Group C, Marseille ended their 13-match losing streak in the Champions League with a 2-1 home win over Olympiakos. Dimitri Payet scored both his side’s goals from the penalty spot at the Vélodrome after Mady Camara had put the Greeks in front.