Real Madrid 2-3 Shakhtar: Zidane's side shocked at home by depleted Ukrainians
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Real Madrid 2-3 Shakhtar: Zidane's side shocked at home by depleted Ukrainians

Real Madrid started their Champions League campaign with a shocking 3-2 loss at home to Ukrainian side Shakhtar Donetsk on Wednesday night. 

Playing at the Alfredo di Stefano Stadium, Zinedine Zidane's men were surprised by the depleted Ukrainians, who were missing 10 first-team players due to the COVID-19. 

Despite a spirited second-half fight when the hosts threw everything at their visitors, it was not to be as they fell at the first hurdle.

The LaLiga Champions were without captain Sergio Ramos, who was ruled out with an injury he picked over the weekend, and Zidane named a changed starting lineup, with Karim Benzema, Luka Modric, and Isco all named on the bench. 

The hosts started the match on the right note and came to within inches of taking the lead after five just minutes as Marco Asensio received a precise pass and had time inside the box to send a promising strike towards the bottom left corner only to be denied by Anatolii Trubin with a fine save. 

The visitors though sent out a warning in the 15th minute as Marlos blew a clear opportunity to score after finding himself one-on-one with Thibaut Courtois inside the six-yard box, but attempted to put the ball low into the middle of the target, only for the Spaniard to  deny him with a wonderful save. 

They however took the lead in the 29th minute as Tete produced a moment of brilliance with a fine shot from inside the box into the bottom left corner. 

It moved from bad to worse for the hosts in the 33rd minute, as Raphael Varane turned the ball into his own net for a 2-0 lead to the Ukrainians. 

Manor Solomon then ensured they took a shocking 3-0 lead going into the break as he reacted quickly to stab the ball home after receiving a precise pass in the box. 

Zidane then threw Benzema, Modric, and Vinicius Junior in after the break, and he got an immediate response. 

The Croat leveled the scores on the 54th minute before Vinicius added a second four minutes later to bring them within a goal of pulling level. 

Federico Valverde thought he had pulled his side level in the 94th minute, but his goal was ruled out for offside, completely shattering their hopes of an equalizer. 

The Los Blancos will need to quickly put the loss behind them as they face bitter rivals Barcelona over the weekend.