Sheriff Tiraspol, the debutant of the UEFA Champions League, prevailed against 13-time champions Real Madrid in a thrilling encounter at the Santiago Bernabeu. With this victory, the team from Moldova goes to the top of the group with 6 points, while Madrid is in second place with 3.
In what was the cliché duel between David and Goliath, as has been the case in history, it was David who prevailed when the visiting team actually scored the goal. It was in the 25th minute when striker Jasur Jakhshibaev headed home after a great ball from Cristiano. The score remained unchanged until the end of half.
In the second, Madrid seemed to show a greater sense of urgency and with the introduction of Modric, Kroos and Rodrygo the threat began to grow. After a period of constant pressure, Vinicius, who proved to be a threat all night, appeared to go down with minimal contact. The VAR was consulted by the referee, but eventually play resumed without allowing the goal. However, it would not be long before Vinicius Junior – ever the protagonist of the sheriff defense would cause a headache again. This time the area went down in what appeared to be an inadvertent blockage. The VAR was consulted again, only this time the penalty was awarded. Karim Benzema was the man with the responsibility and he mastered it with ease, Leveling the score by the spot.
In the second half we went into an increasingly tense affair. The loyal Madrid team were ready to take their squad forward, but to no avail as the Moldovan side proved to be as disciplined as they were compact. Then as if fate was taking matters into its own hands, Sebastian Thill from Sheriff was presented with a throw-in snapshot, which he duly sprinted from outside the penalty area into the top left corner. 2-1 against Sheriff, Goliath defeated and history made!