Madrid, Nov 26 (IANS) Real Madrid put some of the crisis caused by Saturday’s 4-0 defeat to FC Barcelona behind them when they defeated Shakhtar Donetsk 4-3 away from home late on Wednesday. Knowing that Real Madrid had already assured their place in the last 16 of the Champions League, Rafael Benitez made several changes to his side with Kiko Casilla, Dani Carvajal, Isco (who was sent off at the weekend) and Nacho Fernandez all coming into the starting 11, Xinhua news agency reported.
The much-criticized Gareth Bale set up Cristiano Ronaldo for Madrid’s opening goal after 18 minutes, while the news of Paris Saint Germain’s easy win away to Malmo made it clear that Shakhtar had no chance of qualifying for the next round. The Ukrainian’s looked to fight back towards the end of the first half, but a Madrid counter-attack saw Luka Modric double Madrid’s lead six minutes after the break.
Carvajal made it 3-0 and Ronaldo added a fourth before Teixeira scored a penalty for a demoralized home side and Dentinho made it 4-2 shortly afterwards. Teixiera scored his second of the night with two minutes remaining to put Real Madrid hearts in their mouths until the final whistle and turn what should have been a morale boosting night for Benitez’s side into another worrying result despite the win.
Antoine Griezmann’s 13-minute goal at home to Galatasaray put Atletico Madrid on their way to sealing their place in the next round and his second midway through the second half means the Spanish side will battle for top spot in the group away to Benfica in the final group match. The match took place amid extreme security measures, which saw all fans searched on the way to the Vicente Calderon Stadium Finally Sevilla’s Champions League dream ended with a heavy 4-2 defeat away to Borussia Munchengladbach and Unai Emery’s side now need to win their final group game and hope Manchester City defeat Borussia in order to qualify for the last 32 of the Europa League, of which they are the defending champions.