Despite a brave Rudiger header which took Madrid into Champions League knockouts, boss Ancelotti criticises his team’s performance against Shakhtar
Madrid’s Antonio Rudiger (left) scores a header before colliding with Shakhtar’s goalkeeper Anatolii Trubin on Tuesday. Pic/Getty Images
Real Madrid reached the Champions League last 16 with a last-gasp 1-1 draw against Shakhtar Donetsk in Warsaw on Tuesday. Antonio Rudiger scored a brave header deep in stoppage time to equalise and earn the reigning champions passage to the knock-out rounds.
The Ukrainian side impressed and took the lead through Oleksandr Zubkov early in the second half. It seemed like Madrid were poised to lose their first match of the season across all competitions, but Rudiger headed home from Toni Kroos’s cross in the fifth minute of five added on, colliding heads with goalkeeper Anatoliy Trubin in the process. Rudiger left the pitch covered in blood, and the Shakhtar goalkeeper had to see out the final seconds with a bandage wrapped round his head.
“He’s got quite a long cut on his forehead, there’s a lot of blood, but he’s doing well,” coach Carlo Ancelotti told Movistar. “He wanted to go back on to the pitch, but we realised he was injured. I don’t think it’s too serious. “We did not play well, but this team never gives up. We are in the last 16, on a night that looked bad. That’s a good thing. (But) as a team it was not an ideal night.”
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Vini Jr rested
Ancelotti had rested Vinicius Junior, among others, keeping an eye on Sunday’s Clasico against bitter rivals Barcelona at the Santiago Bernabeu. However, Madrid talisman Benzema started the game after missing the 1-0 win over Getafe on Saturday, and was the first to test Trubin with a blast straight at the goalkeeper. Trubin made another stop to deny Benzema from a tight angle, but had little else to do as Los Blancos rarely clicked in attack. Belgian playmaker Hazard was invisible. “Eden, like Karim, had difficulties. The lines were hard to break through, they didn’t have much chance to get between them,” Ancelotti told a press conference.
“We played very badly today, but even when things don’t go well, we don’t give up and we fight to the end. And we qualified for the next round.”
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