Real Madrid Suffer Worst UCL First Half in 15 Years

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The Ukrainian champions arrived in Madrid without 13 first-team players after 19 positive COVID-19 tests throughout the club left them needing to call up youth-team players, according to the BBC.

Federico Valverde thought he had hit a stoppage-time leveller but after a check at the pitchside monitor referee Srdjan Jovanovic disallowed the goal for offside. Manor Solomon then added the third three minutes before halftime.

Inter Milan hosted Borussia Monchengladbach in the other Group B match later on Wednesday (Thursday NZT).

"I am happy for the players who reacted and changed in the second half, because they don't deserve such things".

Shakhtar had to field a weakened team as a result of coronavirus cases, but the Ukrainian underdogs tore Real to shreds as they raced into a 3-0 lead in an incredible first half.

Spanish champions Real take onBarcelona in the first El Clasico of the campaign at the weekend and so the opening 45 minutes this evening was the worst possible preparation for such a massive fixture.

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"We didn't get off to a good start".

"I did not see the team as I wanted and when you do not see the team as you wanted it is your fault", Zidane said. "We played better in the second half but it wasn't enough. We have to move on, the next match is coming up soon and we can't lose time lamenting".

The defeat follows a shock 1-0 home defeat by newly-promoted Cadiz in La Liga on Saturday.

This is because their Bernabeu Stadium, which has been their home since 1947, is now undergoing renovations.

Thirteen-time Champions League winners, Madrid were eliminated in the round of 16 in the last two seasons. "I'm the coach, I have to find the solution, I didn't find it tonight". The players are annoyed: they're champions, so it's natural. We made a mistake leading up to the first goal and afterwards the truth is that we were missing a bit of confidence, a bit of action, a bit of everything in the first half. Valverde's shot from a short corner beat 19-year-old goalkeeper Anatolii Trubin, but Vinicius was offside, right in his eyeline and the goal was chalked off. They were limited to certain sectors of the stands with one empty seat between each spectator, rather than being seated all round the stadium.

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