Sheriff Tiraspol 0-3 Real Madrid: Carlo Ancelotti’s men take revenge
Sheriff Tiraspol 0-3 Real Madrid: Carlo Ancelotti’s men take revenge on Moldovan minnows to secure place in Champions League last-16
- Sheriff Tiraspol caused a huge shock by beating Real Madrid in Bernabeu
- But the Spanish side started far from home with a free kick from David Alaba
- Tony Kroos then added a second to put Carlo Ancelotti’s men in full control
- Karim Benzema scored the third with a beautiful finish from outside the box
Karim Benzema temporarily put trouble off the pitch behind him to score one of three goals that sent Madrid meandering to next month’s last-16 Champions League tie.
He took third in the 3-0 win, meaning he has now scored 64 goals in the Champions League and is now just two goals away from overtaking Raul as Madrid’s second-highest goalscorer in the league. Cristiano Ronaldo remains a long way up front with 105, but Benzema continues to do his best to replace the Portuguese for Real Madrid.
He celebrated his shot in the second half of Ferland Mendy’s cross with teammates, just hours after a French judge handed him a one-year suspended sentence for his part in the attempted blackmail of former French international teammate Mathieu Valbuena; a verdict he plans to appeal.
Karim Benzema put all his off-the-pitch troubles behind him in the 3-0 win
David Alaba scored a free kick on Wednesday evening to give Real Madrid the lead
There was a slight deflection and the ball flew past Giorgos Athanasiadis into the goal
Benzema had started the game well and made a rebound after Georgios Athanasiadis saved Toni Kroos’ shot. That goal was disallowed for offside, but an opener by David Alaba for Madrid was not ruled out.
His free kick pinched a defender as the sheriff’s wall split, helping him fly past Athanasiadis to make it 1-0 on the half hour.
Madrid were in control with Casemiro, Luka Modric and Kroos leading the game from midfield. Carlo Ancelotti recently called them the best in the world. This was only their sixth game together this season and they were too good for Sheriff. Modric made a move that Kroos ended with a shot from the side foot that bounced just over the line onto the crossbar for 2-0.
Rodrygo was punched in the lead up to and the Brazilian was the sheriff’s main tormentor as they defeated the Champions League debutants.
Real were out for revenge after their shocking defeat to Sheriff Tiraspol in the home game
Tony Kroos scored the second goal of the game with a shot that went in over the crossbar
Athanasiadis 6; Cristiano 6, Arboleda 6, Dulanto 6, Costanza 6; Addo 6, Thil 7, Kolovos 6 (Nikolov, 59 6), Castaneda 6 (Yansane 59 6); Bruno 6 (Julien, 59 6) Traore 7 (Cojocaru, 81)
Courtois 7; Carvajal 6 (Lucas Vazquez, 65 6), Militao 6, Alaba 8 (Nacho, 6), Mendy 7 (Marcelo, 61 6); Casemiro 7 (Blank, 85), Duckweed 8, Modric 7; Rodrygo 8 (Asensio, 85), Vinicius 7, Benzema 7 Fact box text
The match, which was shown live at a cinema in Tiraspol due to pandemic restrictions narrowing the gate, was sure to go according to plan at halftime and Benzema’s 10-minute strike into the second half secured victory, although the feisty sheriff, who Real Madrid defeated at the Bernabeu, coming close twice with Sebastien Thill hitting the frame of the goal and Thibaut Courtois making a good save from Adama Traore.
Madrid could now consider dominating the group and perhaps force cards to use up suspensions, but as Casemiro approached the sidelines in what appeared to be a conversation on the same subject, the midfielder – on yellow – seemed to be told that Carlo Ancelotti was not a conscious booking.
It wasn’t all good news for Real Madrid with Alaba dropping out in the second half, they will want to have their new defensive leader fit for the final group game at home to Inter.
“It’s a very cold night,” defender Dani Carvajal said of the minus three temperature. “We’re just glad we passed.”
Benzema now has 15 goals this season, 10 in La Liga and five in Europe. And with that all-star midfield of Modric, Casemiro and Kroos behind him, Madrid will be one of the teams to avoid in the draw on December 13. If they take a point in that final game at home against Inter, they will go into the last -16 as one of the group winners.
Benzema has been a shining light for Real this season as their talisman attacker
Carlo Ancelotti will be happy for Real to advance to round of 16 with one game left