The Moldovan champion won to everyone’s surprise at the Bernabeu on Tuesday (2-1).
Terrible blow for Real Madrid. The club with 13 Champions Leagues was humiliated 2-1 at home by Sheriff Tiraspol, the Little Thumb of the competition, Tuesday for the second day of the Champions League. Sebastien Thill’s half-volley recovery from the left, who came to live in the top corner, will be remembered: with this sublime goal in the 90th minute, the Luxembourger defeated the most successful club in the competition at home, and has offered a major success to Sheriff Tiraspol for his first participation in the competition.
A major brake for the men of Carlo Ancelotti: after an idyllic start to the season, which saw them fly over La Liga and win their first C1 match on the field of Inter Milan (1-0), the Merengues have derailed where no one expected. For the return of the Champions League to the Santiago-Bernabeu, nothing went as planned. The first blow came in the 25th minute: after a bright opening, Cristiano, another left winger namesake of the famous Portuguese, sent a long cross from the left to the far post, which Jasur Jakhshibaev headed for the send in the small net of Thibaut Courtois (25th), throwing an icy cold in the stadium.
The striker sprinted towards the corner post, taking his face in his hands as he could hardly believe it. Against all odds, he has just opened the scoring against the juggernaut Real Madrid. He shows off and kisses his shin guard in the colors of his country, Uzbekistan. Then a few minutes later, in the 32nd, this same Jakhshibaev had a second chance: after a poor recovery from Courtois, who came out far from his line, the Uzbek striker struck a shot which flattened the right post of the Belgian goalkeeper.
The Madrilenians then saw the light again after the equalization of their captain Karim Benzema, who transformed a penalty caused by Vinicius in the 64th … An insufficient goal. Despite having often camped in Sheriff Tiraspol’s half of the field, the Madrileños suffered a cold sweat for much of the meeting as they struggled to avoid historic humiliation.
But the Bernabeu crowd encouraged their players instead of booing them, and Carlo Ancelotti’s men went on the attack, multiplying the big chances in front of an irreproachable Georgios Athanasiadis on his line. The leaping Greek goalkeeper of the Sheriff will even achieve a stop of the face which will require the intervention of the doctors, on a strike at point blank range of Luka Modric, entered during the game. He will be decisive throughout the match, saving his family again on this resumption of Luka Jovic at the very end of the game.
For the merengues, the rout is total. For the Sheriff, on the contrary, it’s party night. This modest club from Transnistria, a pro-Russian separatist enclave which seceded from Moldova in 1991, does not fail to surprise bookmakers for its first participation in the queen of European competitions.
After a first 2-0 victory against Shakhtar Donetsk, the same club that beat Real 3-2 last year in C1, the Sheriff is even astonishing leader of Group D after two days. Ancelotti will have to find solutions to quickly raise the bar in the Champions League. But such a correction will not be erased so quickly from the memory of the people of Madrid.