Shakhtar Donetsk secured a 2-0 win over Real Madrid in Kyiv to leave Champions League Group B wide open.
Even a draw for Zinedine Zidane’s men in Ukraine would have left them in a strong position going into their final match against Borussia Monchengladbach, but second-half goals from Dentinho and Manor Solomon mean that their prospects in the competition are out of their hands.
Madrid came into the game depleted offensively by the recent loss of Eden Hazard, but they opened the match promisingly.
Marco Asensio notably hit the post after a smart interchange, but Los Blancos were guilty of lacking ideas around their opponents’ box and for all their pressure would rarely threaten in the second half as they sought to get back into the match.
Sergio Ramos’ influence in the defence was also missing for the guests. The legendary Spaniard, however, might have been unable to do anything with the Shakhtar opener given it was present to Dentinho by an individual error from captain Rafael Varane.
The Frenchman inexplicably allowed the ball to fly past him in the box. Dentinho needed no second invitation to slot a shot into the corner.
Although Zidane responded with a triple change, his side were inert and were actually looking vulnerable on the counterattack.
And so it proved. Solomon was allowed to advance unchecked to the very edge of the box and even there was too slowly closed down. The upset was effectively completed as he skidded a shot past Thibaut Courtois.
Madrid and Shakhtar lie even on seven points, but despite the Ukrainians’ goal difference of -7, they are ahead of the competition’s most successful side thanks to their superior head to head record.
Should Shakhtar beat Inter next Wednesday, they will progress – and it may be that Antonio Conte’s side have nothing to play for by that point.