Real Madrid scrambled a late equaliser through Antonio Rudiger’s 95th-minute header to take a point from their Champions League encounter with Shakhtar Donetsk in Warsaw, and secure their place in the knockouts.
The visitors displayed a surprising lack of cutting edge in the first half, despite dominating possession.
Anatoliy Trubin was the busier of the two keepers though, making a couple of straightforward saves from Karim Benzema, before finally being truly tested just before the break when tipping a Federico Valverde shot over the bar.
Shakhtar had their moments without any end product, but they made a lightning start after the interval, netting within 30 seconds of the restart as Oleksandr Zubkov, who scored in last week’s 2-1 defeat at the Bernabeu, nodded home at the back post from Bohdan Mykhaylichenko’s excellent deep cross.
A frustrated Carlo Ancelotti immediately turned to his bench, bringing on Vinicius Junior and Luka Modric, who had been rested with the weekend’s Clasico clash with Barcelona in mind.
But the hosts continued to dominate and nearly got a second after a stunning passing move, again involving Zubkov and ending in Lassina Traore hitting the bar.
Real threw on more attacking options and finally got their goal deep into injury-time when Rudiger connected with Toni Kroos’ cross, suffering what looked like a nasty head injury in the process after colliding with the goalkeeper.
TALKING POINT – REAL NEVER GOT GOING
So much more was expected from the visitors, who came into this game not only unbeaten this season, but with a record of 11 wins from 12 matches, including three from three in the Champions League.
Ancelotti’s face on the touchline said it all though – he was less than impressed by his side, as they were often passive in attack, and had not switched on at all after the break when Zubkov opened the scoring.
The defending champions are still strong favourites to go through, but they will need to lift their performance for the visit of Barcelona in La Liga at the weekend, particularly in attack, where the likes of Benzema and Vinicius had to feed off scraps.
They got their equaliser eventually, but it was far from what they deserved.
PLAYER OF THE MATCH – OLEKSANDR ZUBKOV (SHAKHTAR)
Ukrainian international Zubkov has made quite a name for himself over the past week, firstly scoring at the Bernabeu, before getting the opening goal in this game.
The 26-year old, who is in his second spell with Shakhtar after returning to the club this summer, took his goal superbly, popping up at the back post to send a towering header into the bottom corner.
That was far from his only contribution though, as it was his incisive pass that led to Traore’s chance, while he also saw a thumping effort from distance tipped around the post, and another shot blocked.
Shakhtar Donetsk: Trubin 7; Konoplya 6, Bondar 8, Matviyenko 6, Mykhaylichenko 7; Stepanenko 7; Zubkov 9, Bondarenko 6, Sudakov 6, Mudryk 8; Traore 6. Subs: Sikan n/a, Djurasek n/a, Taylor n/a, Petryak n/a
Subs: Pyatov, Shevchenko, Kozik, Taylor, Kryvtsov, Ocheretko, Kryskiv, Petryak, Dureasek, Sikan, Topalov, Kulakov
Real Madrid: Lunin 6; Vazquez 6, Rudiger 7, Nacho 6, Mendy 6; Valverde 7, Kroos 5, Tchouameni 5, Hazard 4, Benzema 6, Rodrygo 5. Subs: Vinicius Junior 6, Modric 6, Camavinga 6, Asensio 6, Alaba 6
Subs: Lopez, Canizares, Odriozola, Militao, Vallejo, Carvajal, Diaz
41’ SUPERB TRUBIN SAVE. That’s the best effort of the game so far. Federico Valverde lets rip from 30-yards, with the keeper leaping high to tip over the bar.
46’ GOAL! SHAKHTAR 1-0 REAL MADRID (Zubkov). What a start to the second half! Less than 30 seconds gone and the hosts take the lead as Bodhan Mykhailichenko floats a brilliant ball to the back post, and it’s headed home by Zubkov!
65’ TRAORE OFF THE BAR! What a sensational move from Shakhtar, and Zubkov was right at the centre of it. Eventually Traore is played in and he clips the bar with his shot. That would have been one of the goals of the competition so far.
87’ VINICIUS HEADS OVER. A massive moment for the sub, who is picked out by an excellent cross but fails to even test the goalkeeper with a header from close range. He has to hit the target from there.
90+5’ GOAL! SHAKHTAR 1-1 REAL MADRID (Rudiger). What a cruel blow for Shakhtar! It’s another superb ball from deep and Rudiger, who headed just wide moments ago, flicks a header in off the post.