Antonio Rudiger’s last minute goal earned Real Madrid a 1-1 draw with Shakhtar Donetsk in Warsaw.
Shakhtar produced a fantastic performance to take the lead through Oleksandr Zubkov before the German international’s 95th-minute header secured a point for Los Blancos.
With their talisman Vinicius Junior trapped on the bench, Real Madrid struggled to create anything of note in the opening half hour.
In fact, it was the Ukrainians who were more likely to score in this period as the home side pressed forward and forced the likes of Antonio Rudiger and Nacho Fernandez to defend well.
Los Blancos finally began to show signs of life in the 35th minute as they began to move the ball more quickly. Said uptick in pace led to Carlo Ancelotti’s first real sight of goal as some nice interplay on the edge of the box led to Karim Benzema slotting home from a tight angle. But his shot was well saved by Anatoly Trubin.
The Shakhtar number one was forced into another save minutes later when he fired Federico Valverde’s stinging effort over the bar.
Right at the start of the second half, the home team took a de facto shock lead through Oleksandr Zubkov. The right winger crept undetected to the back post and headed in a brilliant cross from Bohdan Mykhaylichenko.
As expected, Real Madrid then dominated possession and brought on both Luka Modric and Vinicius Junior in the hope of turning the game around. Despite all the possession, it was Shakhar who came close to scoring next. A wonderful drive by Zubkov culminated in Lassina Traore’s clean play on goal. After seeing his initial shot well saved by Andriy Lunin, the ball fell kindly back to the striker who saw his follow-up effort crack the top of the crossbar.
The chance angered Ancelotti so much that he made three more substitutions in search of an equaliser.
It was one of the substitutes who would have had a great chance to equalize for Los Blancos. Vinicius rose highest in the box, getting his head on Lucas Vazquez’s cross, but could only direct the ball over the bar.
Rudiger was next to go when he headed inches wide of the post in the 92nd minute.
He scored his goal two minutes later. The former Chelsea man got his head on Kroos’ cross just in front of Trubin to knock the ball into the back of the net and earn his side a tie-saving blush. While scoring a goal, Rudiger collided heads with Trubin and both were sent off the field due to injuries.
1. Real Madrid (4-3-3)
GK – Andriy Lunin – 5/10 – Forced into a few good saves by Zubkov and co.
RB – Lucas Vazquez – 4/10 – Failed to provide any real quality in the offensive third.
CB – Antonio Rudiger – 7/10 – Got through a lot more work than he perhaps expected to in the first half. Scored late on to earn a point.
CB – Nacho Fernandez – 6/10 – Looked solid throughout.
LB – Ferland Mendy – 3/10 – Caught napping at the back post for the opening goal.
CM – Toni Kroos – 7/10 – Tidy on the ball but that was about it until added time, when he delivered a fantastic ball into the box to set up Rudiger’s goal.
CM – Aurélien Tchouaméni – 4/10 – He didn’t show too much. Needed to provide a bit more impetus in midfield than he did. Replace by Modric.
CM – Federico Valverde – 4/10 – Back in the centre of the park, but wasn’t able to effect the game in there.
RW – Rodrygo – 4/10 – Really quiet all evening. Just did not get in the game.
ST – Karim Benzema – 4/10 – Has gone off the boil a bit since his injury. Another quiet game for the future Ballon d’Or winner.
LW – Eden Hazard – 3/10 – Nowhere near the player he was a few years ago…but you knew that already.
SUB – Luka Modric – 6/10 – Added some much needed quality in midfield.
SUB – Vinicius Junior – 5/10 – Missed a great chance when he came on.
SUB – David Alaba – N/A.
SUB – Eduardo Camavinga – 4/10 – Quiet when introduced.
SUB – Marco Asensio – 5/10 – Played a few nice balls into the box.