Real Madrid’s Champions League hopes are hanging in the balance after they lost 2-0 at Shakhtar Donetsk yesterday, leaving their fate in reaching the knockout stages out of their hands heading into the final round of matches.
The 13-times European Cup winners went behind in the 57th minute when Shakthar substitute Dentinho capitalised on a lapse in concentration from defender Raphael Varane to score. Israeli forward Manor Solomon then wrapped up the home side’s shock win over the Spanish champions in the 82nd with a solo run on the counter and finish into the bottom corner.
Dentinho came on in the first half to replace striker Junior Moraes, who was injured after being hauled down by Varane in a bid to prevent the forward racing towards goal unchallenged.
Shakhtar, who beat Madrid 3-2 away in October, are second in Group B on seven points, level with Zinedine Zidane’s Real side but ahead due to their superior head-to-head record.
Berisha fires Salzburg to win over Lokomotiv
A first-half brace by Mergim Berisha helped earn Salzburg a 3-1 win at Lokomotiv Moscow in the Champions League yesterday as the Austrian champions kept their hopes of a last-16 spot alive.
Salzburg were rewarded for their early domination in the 28th minute when Enock Mwepu’s deflected shot fell kindly to Berisha, who converted from close range, minutes after he had a goal ruled out for offside.
Jesse March’s side doubled their lead 13 minutes later when Sekou Koita capitalised on a poor clearance from Slobodan Rajkovic and played in Berisha, who rifled a low shot past Lokomotiv keeper Guilherme for his fourth goal in five Champions League games this season. Lokomotiv were handed a lifeline in the 79th minute when Ze Luis was fouled by Andre Ramalho in the penalty area, with Anton Miranchuk converting the resulting spot-kick to halve the deficit.
Yet substitute Karim Adeyemi restored Salzburg’s two-goal lead two minutes later, profiting from another defensive error and firing into the bottom corner. The result lifts Salzburg to third place on four points, one point and place behind Atletico Madrid, who were facing holders Bayern Munich late last night. Salzburg host Atletico in their final group game next week and can qualify for the knockout stages with a win provided Diego Simeone’s side do not beat Bayern.
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