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Madrid edge closer to Round of 16

MATCH REPORT. 03/11/2021. Alberto Navarro

Two goals from Benzema, the second after a sensational move, defeated Shakhtar Donetsk at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Real Madrid collected another precious three points against Shakhtar Donetsk at the Santiago Bernabéu stadium to take a huge step closer to qualifying for the Round of 16 of the Champions League. Karim Benzema, who was awarded Man of the Match, scored the two goals after being set up by Vini Jr. on both occasions. The Frenchman’s first was the club’s 1000th in the European Cup and his second came after some sizzling link-up play.
 
The first half hour of play saw both sides press at high intensity and this led to chances for both sides. The first opening was carved out by the hosts saw Lucas Vázquez and Luca Modrić combine well and when the Croat found himself through on goal he was superbly denied by the out-stretched hand of Trubin. Shakhtar responded five minutes later when a low effort by Patrick from the edge of the area came back on the post. Soon after, the deadlock was broken. Vinicius Jr. did well to dispossess Marlos inside the defender’s own area and fed Benzema who tapped in Real Madrid’s 1000th goal in the European Cup in the 14th minute.

Video.2-1: Madrid edge closer to Round of 16

Our team had the chance to double their money three mintues later, when Vázquez spotted the run of Modrić, who unleashed a first-time effort from the edge of box that Trubin repelled by sticking out a left leg. The hosts were bossing proceedings, but the complexion of the game changed and the chances were now beginning to go the visitors’ way. Fernando came a whisker away from restoring parity with an effort from inside the box following a flowing move on 32’. The Brazilian hitman would go one better seven minutes later, when he planted a firm snapshot into the back of the net. In injury time, Fernando bore down on Thibaut Courtois, whose diving save meant that the sides went into at the break all square.
 
Carlo Ancelotti’s troops came out after the restart intent on regaining their lead and duly did so with 61 minutes on the clock following a delightful move. Vinicius Jr. slipped the ball to Casemiro, who backheeled it back to his compatriot, who claimed his second assist of the evening as he found Benzema, whose first-time finish saw him complete his brace. No further goals were forthcoming, despite Shakhtar coming close with a long-range piledriver from Stepanenko that skipped narrowly wide of the target in the 75th minute, whilst Benzema could have claimed the matchball with an effort three minutes later, but he contrived to send his shot from inside the box over the bar. Real Madrid went on to see out the game and claim all three points.

Over 1000 goals scored in the European Cup

Benzema’s double against Shakhtar Donetsk saw Real Madrid surpass the 1,000-goal mark in the European Cup and become the first team to achieve this tally in the competition’s history. The French frontman, who notched the first goal of the evening, struck the landmark goal.
 

Casemiro: 300 games for Real Madrid

Casemiro made his 300th appearance for Real Madrid. The Brazilian is in his eighth season with the first team and has amassed 203 victories and 30 goals as a Real Madrid player.

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The referee

Benoît Bastien (France), assisted by Aurélien Berthomieu and Benjamin Pages. Jérémie Pignard was the fourth official and Delajod Willy (France) was the video assistant referee.

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