With the help of a Karim Benzema finally back in the queen of European competitions, the people of Madrid broke through the Ukrainian curtain twice in the first half: first by Rodrygo, who took advantage of a ball badly negotiated by the opposing captain to hit (13th), then by Vinicius, who concluded a magnificent three-way action with his two attacking friends (28th).

But while Real Madrid were strolling, Oleksander Zubkov appeared, like a warning: just before the break (39th), on a center from the left signed Bogdan Mykaylichenko, the Ukrainian center-forward, neglected of any marking, released an acrobatic scissor which deceived his compatriot Andriy Lunin, who replaced Thibaut Courtois (sciatica).

This oversight triggered the anger of Carlo Ancelotti, yet renowned for his calm, on the merengue bench.

Benzema, facilitator

Benzema, for his part, could not make up for his missed penalty on Sunday, repeatedly stumbling over the opposing goalkeeper Anatoliy Trubin (2nd, 25th, 89th), or missing the target by nothing (88th).

But for his second game since returning from injury, the big favorite for the Ballon d'Or (October 17) slipped into the role of game facilitator for his fellow Brazilian attackers.

He is notably at the origin of Madrid's second goal, on a superb game with three in one touch with Vinicius and Rodrygo.

Returned to the same pool as the Merengues for the third consecutive season in the Champions League, the Ukrainians failed to repeat the feat of 2020, when they managed to rob the small Alfredo di Stefano stadium 3-2 during the first day of C1.

Real Madrid's Brazilian striker Vinicius Junior scores a goal during the Champions League Group F match Real won 2-1 against Shakhtar Donetsk, Wednesday October 5, 2022 at Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid.


Before Tuesday's return match, which will be played in Warsaw (Poland) due to the war in Ukraine, Shakhtar are in second place in the group.

Five lengths from Real (nine points) who could already seal, if successful, their qualification for the round of 16.

© 2022 AFP