- Oops!Something went wrong.Please try again later.
Karim Benzema struck twice to lead Real Madrid to an unconvincing 2-1 home win over Shakhtar Donetsk on Wednesday and move the Spanish side provisionally three points clear at the top of Champions League Group D.
Real lead the standings with nine points, three more than Moldova’s Sheriff who face Inter Milan later on Wednesday.
Real went ahead in the 15th minute when Vinicius Jr. stole the ball from a Shakhtar defender and set up Benzema to score with a powerful shot from inside the box.
Ukraine’s Shakhtar equalised five minutes before halftime with a stunning counter-attack finished off by Fernando.
Benzema and Vinicius Jr. combined again for the Real winner just after the hour mark, the latter linking up well with Casemiro before teeing up the France striker to find the net again.
Follow all the action with Standard Sport’s LIVE blog below!
Real Madrid vs Shakhtar Donetsk latest news
FT: Real Madrid 2-1 Shakhtar Donetsk
GOAL! Benzema puts hosts ahead
GOAL! Fernando equalises for visitors
GOAL! Benzema finishes wonderful team goal
FULL-TIME: Real Madrid 2-1 Shakhtar Donetsk
19:34 , Matt Verri
Real hold on and, at least for the time being, go top of Group D.
Karim Benzema again the hero with the two goals, but Shakhtar will feel they deserved something from the game.
Their first goal of the group stage, but the wait for the first win goes on.
Carlo Ancelotti will be mightily relieved his side have come through that.
19:32 , Matt Verri
Three minutes added on: Sudakov takes aim from the edge of the box, and it goes through a crowd of players.
Courtois is unconvincing and palms it straight back out, but it’s just about hacked away and Real survive.
Shakhtar piling on the pressure.
19:30 , Matt Verri
90 mins: Kroos does everything in his power to try and look for a pass, but there isn’t one available. He waits, and waits, and waits, before reluctantly deciding to shoot.
It’s a decent effort, but Trubin gathers at the second attempt.
19:28 , Matt Verri
88 mins: Casemiro doing exactly what Casemiro does.
The Brazilian is stood right in front of his defence, and intercepts a through ball that could have played Shakhtar in.
Real then win a free-kick, and that will eat up a few more seconds.
19:25 , Matt Verri
84 mins: Real unsurprisingly in no rush to do anything. Nacho, who came on for Carvajal, wins his side a corner.
Casemiro wins the header from the set-piece, but he heads it down into the ground and straight at Trubin.
19:23 , Matt Verri
82 mins: Ismaily now goes close for Shakhtar.
Marlos does well on the left to stand up a cross to the far post. It comes all the way through to Ismaily, but the left-back lacks the required composure and it’s a waste.
19:20 , Matt Verri
78 mins: Benzema is not far away from sealing his hat-trick, but his rising effort just has too much on it.
That’s his last contribution of the match, as Ancelotti decides to bring off his talisman. Another brilliant display from the Frenchman.
19:16 , Matt Verri
75 mins: Brilliant effort from Stepanenko.
The Shakhtar captain lets fly with his left-foot from 25 yards and catches it so sweetly. Courtois is at full-stretch - it’s beyond him, but it also flies just above the bar.
19:13 , Matt Verri
72 mins: Vinicius leads the break for Real, and it’s briefly two-on-two as Benzema joins the charge.
He lays it off to the Frenchman, who returns the favour, but Vinicius is just crowded out and his effort is blocked.
19:11 , Matt Verri
69 mins: Dodo with a really dangerous ball across the box, but there’s just a bit too much on it.
Fernando can’t get there, and it flies across the face of goal. Shakhtar pushing again and still looking dangerous, as they did when going behind in the first-half.
19:06 , Matt Verri
65 mins: Casemiro into the book - that’s been coming.
Benzema has the ball on the edge of the box and considers a shot, but he wins a corner instead. He’ll have his eyes on a hat-trick now.
GOAL! Real Madrid 2-1 Shakhtar Donetsk | Karim Benzema 61'
19:03 , Matt Verri
WHAT. A. GOAL.
Vinicius has it outside the box, and he plays it to Casemiro who flicks it on the spin first-time back to his teammate.
The winger could then shoot himself, but he squares it to Benzema who fires it into the bottom corner past Trubin.
Wonderful team goal and Real are back in front.
19:00 , Matt Verri
59 mins: Considering how one-sided the match between the teams was two weeks ago, Shakhtar have been so impressive.
Patrick linking things well, Mudryk causing Carvajal huge problems, and Fernando looking sharp.
Mudryk turns brilliantly and plays it to Tete, who has a shot but it’s straight at Courtois.
18:56 , Matt Verri
56 mins: Yellow card for the Shakhtar... manager.
He’s not impressed with a free-kick that’s given, and he lets the linesman know in no uncertain terms. The referee comes across and Roberto De Zerbi is in the book.
18:54 , Matt Verri
54 mins: Another dangerous attack from Shakhtar.
Mudryk runs straight at the Real defence, who back off and back off. Eventually he slides it into the path of Tete, but his shot is swiftly blocked.
18:53 , Matt Verri
52 mins: Brilliant from Vinicius, who takes matters into his own hands.
Twists past a couple of Shakhtar players and drives to the byline. His cut-back is very nearly met by Mendy, but the left-back is eased out of it as he went to shoot.
18:51 , Matt Verri
50 mins: A robust, at best, challenge from Carvajal who goes through the back of Mudryk. Some frustration on the faces of the Real players.
Vazquez rolls a nice ball into the box, but it’s just too far in front of Casemiro.
18:48 , Matt Verri
47 mins: Real don’t seen to have learnt their lesson.
Fernando has time to line up a shot on the edge of the box - thankfully for the hosts it’s blocked.
18:46 , Matt Verri
Players are back out, and we’re off again!
18:39 , Matt Verri
Shakhtar threatened the hosts’ defence on several occasions though.
Mudryk was bright throughout, but the goal came from Fernando after he was set up perfectly by Patrick.
More goals to come in the second-half surely.
18:35 , Matt Verri
It’s been a really entertaining opening period.
Real have had 57% possession and seven shots to Shakhtar’s three, and have looked really dangerous when given the chance to break. They looked like running away with it as Modric went close to adding to their lead...
HALF TIME: Real Madrid 1-1 Shakhtar Donetsk
18:32 , Matt Verri
No added time, and that’s that for the first 45 minutes.
Real started really well and nearly went ahead through Modric, but they got their goal through Benzema after Shakhtar made a mess of playing out from the back.
But the visitors hit back and Fernando has got them level going into the break.
18:30 , Matt Verri
45 mins: Shakhtar nearly ahead!
Patrick picks the ball up on the halfway line, and he plays Fernando in. The striker is too quick for the defenders, and his left-footed effort is a decent one but it’s well saved by Courtois.
Real hanging on at the end of the half..
18:28 , Matt Verri
42 mins: Chance for an immediate response for Real. Vinicius brought down on the edge of the box, free-kick given.
There are a host of players keen to take this. Benzema takes charge... into the wall.
The Frenchman may have taken his first and last free-kick of the match.
GOAL! Real Madrid 1-1 Shakhtar Donetsk | Fernando 39'
18:25 , Matt Verri
Shakhtar are level, and they deserve that for their response to going behind.
The ball gets chipped over the Real defence, Patrick chests it down, and Fernando fires it past Courtois from inside the box. Lovely finish, great goal.
18:24 , Matt Verri
39 mins: Mendy continues to get forward on the left flank, but his crosses into the box have been poor so far.
The latest one gets cleared and Mendy has to race back to deal with the counter. He does that, but only by hauling down Tete. Yellow card.
18:21 , Matt Verri
37 mins: Kroos perhaps fortunate to avoid a yellow card for a foul, just as Casemiro was earlier in the half.
The final member of the midfield trio, Modric, has stayed out of trouble so far, floating around the pitch and knocking passes around at will.
18:19 , Matt Verri
34 mins: Kroos gets the ball stuck under his feet on the edge of the box, preventing him from getting a shot away.
He rolls it out wide to Benzema who has no such problems, but his effort is high and wide.
18:18 , Matt Verri
32 mins: Big chance for Fernando. Mudryk pokes the ball through to him, and he takes a bit of a wild swipe at it.
It flies just over the bar, as Militao came sliding in desperately. Better from the visitors.
18:15 , Matt Verri
30 mins: Shakhtar starting to build more pressure, but they’re struggling to turn comfortable possession into anything particularly dangerous.
They know who their main threat is though, and they keep feeding it to Mudryk. Carvajal gets the better of him this time.
18:12 , Matt Verri
27 mins: Real sitting off a bit more now, happy to let the visitors pass it around on the halfway line.
They break so quickly when they win it back too - Modric tries to slip in Benzema, but it’s well cut out. Probably would have been offside anyway.
18:10 , Matt Verri
24 mins: Mudryk has certainly been Shakhtar’s most dangerous player so far.
He cuts inside again onto his right foot and has a shot, but it’s a simple enough save for Courtois.
18:07 , Matt Verri
21 mins: Game starting to slow down a bit, but Real continue to look dangerous whenever they get the ball.
Benzema’s goal was Real’s 1000th in the Champions League. Certainly not the best he’s ever scored, but he won’t care one bit.
18:03 , Matt Verri
17 mins: Modric has an effort well saved with his feet by Trubin.
Shakhtar showing some of the defending that was on display a fortnight ago in the 5-0 loss.
That’s better though... Tete with a decent ball into the box, but Courtois claims.
GOAL! Real Madrid 1-0 Shakhtar Donetsk | Karim Benzema 14'
18:00 , Matt Verri
What are Shakhtar doing?
A long ball over the top is easily got to by Dodo, who rolls it back to his goalkeeper. Trubin then passes it a few yards to centre-back Santos, but he gets caught on the ball.
Vinicius squares it and Benzema has the simplest of finishes into an empty net.
17:58 , Matt Verri
14 mins: Mudryk is played in and he’s got the beating of Carvajal, but his touch is heavy right at the moment he needs to pull the trigger and Courtois collects.
Both sides looking very vulnerable at the back.
Shakhtar hit the post!
17:57 , Matt Verri
12 mins: Now it’s Shakhtar’s turn to nearly score! It’s a brilliant effort from outside the box from Patrick that beats Courtois, but it bounces off the post and it’s just about hacked clear.
Vinicius then breaks all by himself and runs deep into the Shakhtar half, but he just loses control of the ball. End-to-end stuff!
17:54 , Matt Verri
10 mins: Dodo goes down inside the Real claiming a penalty after colliding with Mendy, but he won’t be getting that.
Casemiro then brings down Mudryk in a very unsubtle manner. It would be a surprise if that was the last attack he brought a swift halt to.
WHAT A SAVE!
17:51 , Matt Verri
6 mins: So nearly 1-0 Real... and it should be!
Vasquez bursts into the box on the right, and slips it inside to Modric. He takes a couple of touches, maybe one too many, but he’s still clean through on goal six yards out.
His effort is poked towards the far corner, but Trubin does brilliantly to tip it around the post. Shakhtar just about hanging on.
17:49 , Matt Verri
5 mins: Real dominating the ball as you’d expect, their experienced midfield trio controlling the game.
Mendy getting forward well from left-back too, but unable to find the right cross so far.
17:47 , Matt Verri
2 mins: Both teams looking to press high up the pitch without the ball early on.
Modric and Vinicius combine nicely just outside the box, but the Croatian’s tame effort is blocked and Shakhtar get it clear.
Kick-off! Real Madrid 0-0 Shakhtar Donetsk
17:45 , Matt Verri
Here come the teams...
17:42 , Matt Verri
Teams are in the tunnel, and here they come onto the pitch.
Not too many fans inside the Bernabeu as the hosts come out.
Ten minutes to go!
17:35 , Matt Verri
Kick-off almost here at the Bernabeu.
Elsewhere in Group D, Sheriff host Inter at 8pm. A win for Real tonight would send them top for now, and they would stay there if Sheriff failed to beat the Italians later on.
Too earlier in the group stage to be worrying about what other teams are doing though. Real will be focused on keeping it in their hands.
Another clean sheet?
17:21 , Matt Verri
Courtois has been going through his warm-up drills as he gets ready for kick-off, which will be in about 25 minutes.
The Belgian has already kept a clean sheet away to both Inter and Shakhtar this season, but he was part of the side that shipped two goals at home to Sheriff.
Shakhtar looking around
17:08 , Matt Verri
Shakhtar have found points hard to come by and goals even more difficult so far.
No better time or place than tonight to suddenly find some form and keep their hopes of European football beyond Christmas alive.
Goals (almost) guaranteed
16:58 , Matt Verri
Five times these sides have now met, and there have been 23 goals. The signs suggest more will follow tonight.
Shakhtar 0-5 Real Madrid (2021)
Shakhtar 2-0 Real Madrid (2020)
Real Madrid 2-3 Shakhtar (2020)
Shakhtar 3-4 Real Madrid (2015)
Real Madrid 4-0 Shakhtar (2015)
We take no responsibility for any goalless draws that follow...
Vasquez further forward
16:49 , Matt Verri
Interesting decision from Ancelotti to start with Vasquez seemingly on the right wing.
The 30-year-old played the full 90 minutes at right-back in Ukraine, and that’s where he’s got most of his minutes so far this season.
He did start further forward in the Champions League opener against Inter, but was subbed off in the second-half.
Vasquez will be looking to make more of an impact tonight, especially with Hazard and Marco Asensio waiting in the wings.
Shakhtar Donetsk team
16:41 , Matt Verri
Here’s the Shakhtar team looking to cause an upset in Spain.
Fernando leading the line for them again - he has four goals in four league appearances so far this season. Now to bring that to the European scene...
— FC SHAKHTAR ENGLISH (@FCShakhtar_eng) November 3, 2021
Real Madrid team
16:36 , Matt Verri
Team news is out...
Benzema back into the side as expected, but Lucas Vasquez gets the nod instead of Hazard who is on the bench.
Tried and tested midfield trio of Modric, Kroos and Casemiro in midfield.
— Real Madrid C.F. 🇬🇧🇺🇸 (@realmadriden) November 3, 2021
Last time out
16:25 , Matt Verri
Vinicius and his teammates will be hoping it’s more of the same tonight...
16:12 , Matt Verri
Shakhtar held on for 37 minutes at home to Real when the sides met in Ukraine two weeks ago, but the floodgates quickly opened as they fell to a 5-0 defeat.
The Spanish side are unbeaten in their three domestic matches since then, including an El Clasico victory, and that momentum looks set to carry on tonight.
After losing at home to Shakhtar last season, and with this being their first European match at home since that Sheriff defeat, Real will be keen to make amends and put themselves in a strong position in Group D.
Prediction: Real Madrid 3-0 Shakhtar Donetsk
Real Madrid team news
16:02 , Matt Verri
Ancelotti looks set to bring Karim Benzema back into the side, after the Real boss rested the Frenchman for the 2-1 win against Elche over the weekend.
Eden Hazard played six minutes off the bench in that victory, and could be in line for a more prominent role tonight as the Belgian looks to finally put his injury problems behind him.
Rodrygo picked up an injury against Elche though and is not available to face Shakhtar as a result.
Real Madrid predicted XI: Courtois, Carvajal, Militao, Alaba, Mendy, Casemiro, Kroos, Modric, Vinicius, Hazard, Benzema.
How to watch Real Madrid vs Shakhtar Donetsk
15:43 , Matt Verri
TV channel: The action from the Bernabeu will be broadcast live on BT Sport 1, with their coverage beginning at 5.30pm.
Live stream: BT Sport subscribers will also be able to watch either on their website or through the BT Sport app.
15:32 , George Flood
Hello and welcome to Standard Sport’s LIVE coverage of Real Madrid’s Champions League clash at home to Shakhtar Donetsk!
The visitors have not scored yet in the group stage and have just one point from their opening three matches.
Real sit second in Group D and level on points with Sheriff Tiraspol, who stunned them at the Bernabeu earlier in the competition.
Carlo Ancelotti’s side will be hoping to avoid anything like that happening again.
Stay tuned for all the match build-up, latest team news and live updates after kick-off, which is at 5:45pm GMT.