Real Madrid qualified with authority for the knockout stages of the Champions League by defeating Sheriff (0-3) in a match that was decided in the last quarter of an hour of the first half with two goals from Alaba and Kroos that overcame the little resistance of the local team
It was a new recital by the three tenors – Kroos, Modric and Casemiro, among whom the German midfielder took the lead, scoring a Cartesian goal, the second, rule and bevel.
This team is not the same that fell in Madrid against the Moldovan team. It is a well-oiled machine in which no one is out of tune. The defense has settled down, the center of the field is an orchestra and the forward sees goal with ease.
As Inter defeated Shakhtar in Milan, the fate of Group D will be decided on the final matchday at the Santiago Bernabeu. Madrid, with twelve points, takes two from the Italians, so it is worth a tie to be first in the group.
There were no surprises in the starting eleven. Ancelotti once again had Militao as Alaba’s partner and his compatriot Rodrygo replaced an intoned Asensio. On the premises, Bruno was chosen to accompany Traoré at the head of the attack.
The Sheriff came out boldly pressing the exit of the Madrid ball. As the minutes passed, the white team took command and began to create danger.
A good run by Rodrygo was cleared at the last minute by the home defense. Two minutes later, Kroos put Athanasiadis to the test, who cleared with difficulties, rejecting that Benzema took the opportunity to score clear offside.
Carvajal, who had trouble stopping Cristiano, was able to hit the wing and send a low cross that Rodrygo finished off softly.
Within twenty minutes the cards were face up. The defense of Madrid was in the core and the eleven local players locked up in their field. The goal was a matter of time.
After half an hour, a foul on the edge of the area was the opportunity that the whites were waiting for. As expected, Alaba was in charge of launching the direct free kick. His shot hit the barrier and misled the local goalkeeper (min.30).
The only mole in the first half was that the most anticipated footballer of the moment, Vinicius Junior, came into play little and, when he did, he sinned in stubbornly looking for Benzema.
Carvajal had the second goal in his boots, but his clean shot in the area passed slightly over the crossbar.
At the edge of the break, Kroos ended the intrigue with a great white combination. He received the ball on the edge of the area, fired first with the marker in his boots and the ball after hitting the crossbar went over the goal line. The referee did not hesitate and pointed to the center of the field (min.45).
Better impossible. At that time, after Inter’s victory over Shakhtar, Madrid were leaders and the Sheriff was due to play in the Europa League in February.
Madrid was not for jokes. In the second half he went out to kill the game.
The locals had a couple of approaches, but it was Benzema who made the third with an accurate shot from outside the area that was unattainable for the local goalkeeper. (min.55)
At a quarter of an hour the three changes introduced by the local technician encouraged the local parish. Dulanto was able to score the goal of honor.
As a precaution, Ancelotti decided to replace Mendy with Marcelo.
Midway through the second half, Courtois came into play, spending much of the game warming up so as not to freeze. First, the Belgian cleared a poisoned shot. Then Thill’s shot, which scored a great goal in Madrid, was spat out by the post. The Transnistria fans had awakened.
But Madrid knew how to put the game to sleep and stifle the Sheriff’s reaction. Even Asensio was able to score, but Athanasiadis responded to a point-blank shot with the night’s stoppage.
The white team overcame the bad drink of playing in Transnistria, a territory not recognized by the UN, with a performance that delighted the local fans.
– Data sheet:
0 – Sheriff Tiráspol: Athanasiadis; Cristiano, Arboleda, Dulanto, Costanza; Addo, Thil, Kolovos (Nikolov, min.59), Castañeda (Yansane, min.59); Bruno (Julien, min.59) and Traoré (Cojocaru, min.81).
3 – Real Madrid: Courtois; Carvajal (Lucas Vázquez, min.65), Militao, Alaba (Nacho, min.65), Mendy (Marcelo, min.61); Casemiro (Blanco, min.85), Kroos, Modric; Rodrygo (Asensio, min.85), Vinicius and Benzema.
Goals: 0-1, min.30: Praise. 0-2, min.45: Kroos. 0-3, min.55: Benzema.
Referee: Szymon Marciniak (POL). He admonished Mendy and Costanza.
Incidents: match corresponding to the fifth day of group D of the Champions League played at the Sheriff Stadion Tiráspol before 6,500 spectators. A boy jumped onto the pitch in the first half to ask Benzema for an autograph.