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Real Madrid seeks to clean the traces of crime

by archysport

Vinicius, Real Madrid forward. / Miguel Medina (afp)

Group D | Day 5

Ancelotti’s team visits Tiraspol with the duty of certifying the pass to the second round of the Champions League and avenging the Sheriff’s affront at the Bernabéu

Óscar Bellot

On September 28 of this year, Real Madrid suffered one of the biggest European embarrassments in its prolific and award-winning history. That night the Sheriff stormed the Santiago Bernabéu with goals from Jasurbek Yakhshiboev and Sebastien Thill, to the amazement of the respectable. It was a full-blown crime committed by the thirteen-time king of the continent, according to the size of his adversary. Cleaning the traces of this crime is one of the missions in Tiraspol of Carlo Ancelotti’s team, which must certify the pass to the second round of the Champions League and avenge the affront that it suffered in the coliseum of Paseo de La Castellana at the hands of the modest Moldovan ensemble.

Leader of Group D with nine points thanks to their victory in the first match against Inter Milan at San Siro and the double victory against Shakhtar Donetsk, Real Madrid would buckle their twenty-fifth consecutive presence in the first qualifying round of the old Cup of Europe if it prevails in Transnistria, a separatist republic located on the eastern border of Moldova with Ukraine, which the Sheriff has put on the football map, starring in one of the most memorable premieres that are remembered in the maximum continental competition. In that case, the whites would play the first place with Inter on the last day, as long as the Neroazzurro block, which has two points less, does not stumble before in their stadium against Shakhtar.

But a tie in Tiraspol would keep everything open, since the Sheriff could still end up equalizing points to the Chamartín team, who would have the particular ‘average goal’ won, and would lead him to a true final with the Italian league champion in the resolution of the group stage, although with the advantage that the tables against Simone Inzaghi’s team would be enough to qualify as first in the group. Much worse would be the scenario if the Sheriff were to ring the bell again, since then Real Madrid could even be forced to beat Inter at the Bernabéu to avoid the purgatory of the Europa League.

high morale

Real Madrid does not seem too concerned about the cabal, which reaches the lawsuit raised on the crest of the wave, after recording six victories and a draw in the seven games it has played since succumbing to Espanyol in Cornellà. A streak that has catapulted him to the leadership of the League and allows him to face the duel with the Sheriff full of morale.

Squaring the scores in Tiraspol would be a relief to face in a better disposition the tricky marathon that is coming down on the whites, who have seven more clashes scheduled before Christmas with demanding rivals such as Sevilla, Real Sociedad, Inter, Atlético de Madrid, Cádiz and Athletic, the latter twice.


Such a calendar will force Ancelotti to be extremely vigilant about the distribution of work. The good news is that the whites only have the injuries of Bale, Ceballos and Valverde, in addition to Hazard, with gastroenteritis. The bad news is that Carletto does not seem to trust the second unit too much and the precedent before the Sheriff does not invite too much rotation.

For this reason, it is normal for the Italian to once again grant command to his holy trinity of midfielders, returning Militao to the axis of the rear after the break he granted the Brazilian in Granada and unloading the offensive responsibility again on Vinicius and Benzema.

The fittest couple on the continent will face each other again with Athanasiadis, an almost insurmountable octopus at the Bernabéu. The goalkeeper suffered eleven shots on goal of the 31 attempts that the whites accumulated in a shooting that was as savage as it was unsuccessful. Whether the Greek is capable of repeating such a feat largely depends on the Sheriff’s options to give continuity to the epic he is writing in this Champions League.


  • Sheriff:
    Athanasiadis, Costanza, Arboleda, Dulanto, Cristiano, Thill, Kolovos, Addo, Traore, Bruno and Castañeda.

  • Real Madrid:
    Courtois, Carvajal, Militao, Alaba, Mendy, Casemiro, Modric, Kroos, Rodrygo, Benzema and Vinicius.

  • Referee:
    Szymon Marciniak (Polonia).

  • Hour:
    21:00 h.

  • Stadium:
    Sheriff Stadion.

  • TV:
    Movistar Champions League 1.


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