Real Madrid 2-1 Shakhtar Donetsk: Player rating

5

Karim Benzema and Vinicius Junior combined for two goals when Real Madrid secured an important 2-1 victory over Shakhtar Donetsk on Wednesday night.

The result moved Los Blancos to the top spot in the Champions League Group D with Inter and Sheriff left to play, and also kept the qualification for the knockout stages in their hands.

Real started strong and Luka Modric should have put them in the lead within five minutes. The Croatian combined intelligently with Lucas Vazquez to create the Shakhtar defense, but he could only fire a tame effort against Anatolli Trubin.

Shortly after, Los Blancos made it 1-0 through Karim Benzema. Vinicius Junior took advantage of Marlon’s play of the ball and stole it before going to his partner in crime to get home. The goal was Real’s 1,000th in the European Cup, which made them the first team to reach the milestone.

After this flying start, the hosts fell away, which allowed Shakhtar to grow into the match and they took a draw just before the break. Fernando was the scorer, who whistled home Alan Patrick’s lavish ches-down minutes after missing a golden opportunity.

Shakhtar strikes against Real Madrid through Fernando! ?

Always time for an assist from a chest cramp ✨ # UCL pic.twitter.com/XTHDTKkK4k

– Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) November 3, 2021

He could have had another in the final stages of the first half as well, with Thibaut Courtois saving well from inside the box.

Real were slow out of the blocks in the second period but eventually woke up and put their nose in front of them with a free-floating move. Vini Jr played a nice one-two with Casemiro before unleashing to an unmarked Benzema, who made no mistake.

Shakhtar did not make life easy for the home team for the rest of the competition, with Taras Stepanenko shooting over from a distance and Georgiy Sudakov forcing a decent stop from Courtois. In the end, however, Real would hold on to secure the three points.

This is how Carlo Ancelotti’s accusations were judged …

Eder Militao has had better days / Quality Sport Images / GettyImages

Thibaut Courtois (GK) – 7/10 – Made several big saves when the visitors were threatening at the end of the first half and at death’s.

Dani Carvajal (RB) – 5/10 – He recently claimed that he was completely healthy after his injury problems. On the evidence from this display, he must take a lie detector test.

Eder Militao (CB) – 4/10 – Caught ball watching for the opening goal and ended up about 10 yards from position. Rule stuff.

David Alaba (CB) – 5/10 – More competent than his partner – which is not the biggest compliment.

Ferland Mendy (LB) – 5/10 – Chosen over Marcelo but did not have a particularly eventful evening. Booked.

Modric should have had a goal / Soccrates Images / GettyImages

Toni Kroos (CM) – 5/10 – Shakhtar chained him effectively for most of the match. Needed to do more to influence the game. Mykhailo Mudryk outshined him in the middle of the park.

Casemiro (CM) – 6/10 – A couple of interventions but still looks far from their best off the ball. Again, Shakhtar did well to deny him the ball sometimes. Nice backheel in the run-up to the second goal.

Luka Modric (CM) – 5/10 – Waste in front of goal. The chance he missed early had an xG value of 0.39, but it looked like an even easier option than that. Picked some nice positions, but the final ball was missing.

⚽⚽ Benzema? ️? ️ Vinicius Jr

A deadly combination for Real Madrid tonight? #UCL pic.twitter.com/Tx3L2RGAao

– Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) November 3, 2021

Lucas Vazquez (RW) – 7/10 – Applied for himself more than Eden Hazard would have done … probably. A couple of impressive runs and would have received an assist if Modric had brought his shooting boots.

Karim Benzema (ST) – 8/10 – Influential in the build-up game and made a stand. Too bad he probably won’t even make it to the Ballon d’Or this year.

Vinicius Junior (LW) – 8/10 – created the opener with his fast thinking and ruthless pressing. The other’s architect as well. A really special talent.

Nacho was solid / Angel Martinez / GettyImages

Nacho (CB) – 6/10 – Facilitated Real’s switch to a back three, which helped them look the match.

Luka Jovic (ST) – N / A – His grades are also a fitting description of his real career so far.

For more from Matt O’Connor-Simpson, follow him on Twitter!

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