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Real Madrid

Still unbeaten, but only just! Real Madrid progress to Champions League knockouts thanks to last-minute equaliser from bloodied Rudiger against Shakhtar

5:33 AM SGT 12/10/22
Antonio Rudiger Real Madrid 2022-23
Real Madrid narrowly avoided their first defeat of the season and qualified for the next stage of the Champions League with a stoppage-time equaliser.
  • 12 games without defeat in all competitions
  • Zubkov thought he had won the game
  • Rudiger equalised in 95th minute

WHAT HAPPENED? Los Blancos' hopes of coasting to the knock-out stages looked set to take a substantial dent as Shakhtar led for more than 45 minutes. However, Antonio Rudiger put his head where it hurt as he nodded in a dramatic late equaliser, picking up a nasty blow to his face in the process.

THE BIGGER PICTURE: For much of the game, Madrid were far from their best but their mounting pressure told in the second half with the former Chelsea defender being used as a part-time striker to force a result. That tactic got results and it means they will play Champions League knockout football once again in the new year.
ALL EYES ON: Eden Hazard passed up another golden opportunity to stamp his authority on the starting XI. He struggled to have any influence on the game and was replaced just before the hour mark by Vinicius Junior who was initially handed a rest ahead of El Clasico.

MATCH IN THREE PHOTOS:

THE VERDICT:

An even more impressive performance in the context of the world outside football.

Shakhtar earning the support of the neutrals.

Pre-Clasico complacency?

But was it really ever in doubt that they'd score late?

Very few players embody the phrase 'Blood, sweat and tears' better than Rudiger.

WHAT NEXT FOR REAL MADRID? Ancelotti and his players will have had an eye on Sunday's El Clasico in the build-up to the trip to Warsaw. Having won their opening three games in the Champions League, the clash against Barcelona is definitely a more important fixture.