Real crash against Shakhtar, Bayern kick off CL defence with win

It was a terrible first matchday for both of Madrid's representatives in the Champions League Wednesday, with Real losing 3-2 at home against Shakhtar Donetsk and Atletico on the wrong end of a 4-0 hammering against title holders Bayern Munich.

Berlin, 22 October 2020 (dpa/MIA) – It was a terrible first matchday for both of Madrid’s representatives in the Champions League Wednesday, with Real losing 3-2 at home against Shakhtar Donetsk and Atletico on the wrong end of a 4-0 hammering against title holders Bayern Munich.

Real lost their third match in a row in the elite event as Tete, a Raphael Varane own-goal and Manor Solomon put Shakhtar 3-0 up at the break and, despite second-half strikes from Luka Modric and Vinicius Junior, the visitors were able to hold on for all three points.

Meanwhile, Bayern overpowered Atletico at the Allianz Arena. A brace from Kingsley Coman and goals from Leon Goretzka and Corentin Tolisso did the job against Diego Simeone’s side.

Elsewhere, Liverpool beat Ajax 1-0, Manchester City won 3-1 against Porto and Atalanta hammered Midtjylland 4-0. Also, Olympiacos beat Marseille 1-0, RB Salzburg were held 2-2 by Lokomotiv Moscow and Borussia Monchengladbach drew 2-2 in Milan with Inter.

Even without a number of first-team players, who were not fully-fit following self-isolation periods because of positive coronavirus tests, Shakhtar were too good on the night for their more illustrious opponents. Low strikes from Tete and Solomon, as well as Varane’s awkward poke into his own net, all came within 13 first-half minutes to put Real under intense difficulty.

Zinedine Zidane’s men, who were without captain Sergio Ramos, were better after the break. Modric’s stunning strike was followed by a tidy finish from Vinicius, who had been on the pitch for just 15 seconds before slotting past Anatoliy Tubin.

The 13-time European champions looked to have completed an impressive comeback through Federico Valverde in stoppage time, but Vinicius was in an offside position as he obscured Tubin’s view of the shot.

“I think Madrid underestimated us but we showed our football and our style. We had to be very focused all the time,” Shakhtar defender Viktor Kornienko said.

Zidane, meanwhile, was far from happy with his team’s display which came after a 1-0 home defeat in the league against Cadiz, and needs to restore morale now for Saturday’s Clasico at Barcelona.

“It’s a bad moment. At least we showed fight in the second half. The players are annoyed, they’re champions so it’s natural. It’s my job to find solutions because these kind of games can’t happen,” Zidane said.

Bayern had too much for Atletico in their clash as they were undeterred by Serge Gnabry’s positive test for the coronavirus.

Coman put Bayern ahead from Joshua Kimmich’s pass, just as they had combined in the 1-0 winner in the August 23 final against Paris Saint-Germain.

Coman then turned provider for Goretzka, who rifled past Jan Oblak to make it 2-0 at half-time.

Luis Suarez looked to have the halved the deficit straight after the interval, but he was judged to be offside. From that point, Bayern never looked back. Tolisso hammered into the top corner midway through the second half, and Coman capped off a fantastic display with his second soon after.

Bayern have now won 17 group stage openers in a row with a goal difference of 42-2. They have also kept clean sheets in the last eight of those games.

“We have a very good team, play together very well and I hope it will continue this way,” Coman said, while Atletico coach Diego Simeone conceded that “Bayern were simply more deadly than we were today.”

Elsewhere, 2019 winners Liverpool were without both Virgil van Dijk and Thiago Alcantara, but a Nicolas Tagliafico own-goal gave them all three points despite a spirited second-half showing from Ajax.

Manchester City completed a positive night for English clubs with their victory. Luis Diaz put Porto ahead with a sensational solo goal, but Sergio Aguero levelled from the penalty spot. After the break, Ilkay Gundogan put the Citizens in front with a well-taken free-kick before Ferran Torres gave them breathing space.

The Champions League returns next week for matchday 2 on Tuesday and Wednesday.

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