Real Madrid melted on Tuesday in ninety minutes the good feelings that it had given at this start to the season when they fell surprisingly before the modest Moldovan Sheriff Tiraspol in the Champions League.
“It is difficult to explain this defeat by the game played,” lamented the merengue coach, Carlo Ancelotti, after a match in which the whites dominated, but did not hit the mark.
Up to 30 shots were made by the meringues, 11 of them on target and only one penalty goal, while the Sheriff shot four times, three of them between the three sticks and scored two goals.
“In this game we control the game a lot, but if you are not effective in front it hurts you in the back,” summed up Brazilian midfielder Casemiro on Tuesday.
The statistics once again highlighted the imbalances of Real Madrid in defense, its weakest facet at this start of the season.
– ‘Small details’ –
“What we have not done well have been the small details. We could have been more concentrated there,” acknowledged Ancelotti.
“If in attack few reproaches can be made against Madrid, in defense yes. The Sheriff raised little, but scored three goals, one canceled, precisely, by the mustache of a prawn,” said this Wednesday in his column, the president of honor of As, Alfredo Relaño.
The defeat does not seem to jeopardize, in principle, the chances of qualifying for the eighth of the Champions League for the merengue team, but it has seriously tarnished the good image that the team had given at this start of the season.
“Batacazo”, title this Wednesday the newspaper Marca in first, stating in a subtitle that “Madrid plays the Indian before the Sheriff and loses an incredible game”, while his competitor Ace opens with a “The Sheriff imposes his law.”
“First warning to Carlo Ancelotti and his team. Football has given it in its most painful version. The surprising defeat against the Sheriff questions the good start to the season, which will only return to its being with more triumphs,” wrote José Félix Díaz in a column in Brand.
This loss to a modest Moldovan team also comes at a time of convulsions in the world of football after the shock caused in April by the attempt to create the Super League, a semi-closed competition of major European clubs.
The Sheriff’s surprising victory in Madrid seems to highlight the appeal of open competitions, in which David can beat Goliath.
– ‘Impossible story’ –
“The Sheriff makes counter-propaganda to the Super League. His triumph at the Bernabéu is symbolic, inasmuch as it represents the award of merit for the one who comes from below,” Relaño wrote in his column.
“In times of the Super League, of the powerful in search of more money and the weak in search of survival, the Moldovan team drew an impossible story, one of those that football reserves for specific moments and unknown teams,” the journalist Aritz Gabilondo confirmed in As .
The Sheriff, the team that was presented as the Cinderella of group D of the Champions, is now the leader ahead of Real Madrid, great champion of the Super League, and Inter Milan, also included in the initial list of the project, of the which then withdrew.
“Everybody criticized us and said that we did not deserve to be here and we did deserve it,” Sheriff’s coach Yuriy Vernydub said Tuesday after the meeting.
With two victories in their first two games in their Champions League debut, the Moldovan team looks optimistically ahead.
Real Madrid, meanwhile, will try to re-arm themselves and find their best feelings on Sunday against Espanyol in LaLiga.
“We are on the right track, we have the confidence of the coach, we have chances to qualify in the Champions League, we are first in the League, this is very long and it is how it ends not how it begins,” Casemiro encouraged on Tuesday.