Champions League - Group D
Real MadridReal Madrid1Sheriff TiraspolSheriff Tiraspol2

Real Madrid 1-2 Sheriff Tiraspol: Champions League debutants snatch win

By Andrew AloiaBBC Sport
Jasurbek Yakhshiboev scores for Sheriff against Real Madrid
Sheriff Tiraspol are top of Group D after two wins from two games

Sheriff Tiraspol produced one of the great Champions League shocks as the competition's least experienced club upstaged 13-time European champions Real Madrid at the Bernabeu.

Sebastien Thill snatched victory for the debutants with a stunning final-minute strike, sparking scenes of wild celebration from the Moldovan champions.

Jasurbek Yakhshiboev's first-half header had given them the lead before Karim Benzema levelled with a penalty.

But Thill's goal was a worthy way to clinch a historic victory - the Luxembourg midfielder's half-volley reducing the home crowd to silence as it flashed past Thibaut Courtois.

"It's the best and most important goal of my career, that's for sure," said Thill, who was last year playing on loan at FC Tambov - a Russian club which in May was dissolved after declaring themselves bankrupt.

"The side were so brave with how we played and luckily enough I was able to score a bit of a stunner.

"After this match, we all went crazy. There are a lot of foreigners in the club, we come from all types of countries. It's our strength."

This was not what Real had planned as the Bernabeu hosted Champions League football for the first time in 580 days, and shouts of celebration from Sheriff players were the soundtrack to a monumental upset.

Sheriff captain Frank Castaneda said victory was a "dream come true" and that they are focused on reaching the knockout stage.

"We are dreaming of getting into the last 16 and that's our objective," he said.

The home side dominated every facet of the game, having 76% possession and 31 shots - 11 of which were on target.

But Sheriff played with supreme composure and were ruthless when presented with even a hint of a chance - scoring twice from just three shots on goal.

Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti said he was "a little sad" as he felt Real "deserved to win".

"You could say we had bad luck, we lost the game on the small details, they scored their goals on the counter-attack and from a throw-in," the Italian said. "We had a lot of shots at goal but sometimes luck deserts you in games.

"Everything went well for them; everything went wrong for us."

Who are Sheriff Tiraspol?

The match in the Spanish capital was Sheriff's 10th Champions League fixture of the season as they came through four rounds of qualifying to reach the group stage for the first time.

A milestone win against Shakhtar Donetsk earlier this month sent them top of Group D, and this remarkable triumph ensures they remain unlikely leaders ahead of illustrious opposition that also includes Italian champions Inter Milan.

"Our attention now turns to Inter and we'll work hard in order to ensure we keep getting positive results," Sheriff captain Castaneda said.

While they are still minnows on the European stage, they have won 20 of the 22 Moldovan league titles they have contested, and in the two league games before heading to Madrid, they scored 11 goals and conceded none.

Tuesday's result means they become just the second club to win on their first Champions League trip to the Bernabeu, replicating Arsenal's achievement in 2005-06.

And not since Leicester City in 2016-17 have a side won their opening two games on their debut in the competition.

Real had intended to make history of their own on their return to the Bernabeu, which has been refurbished, as they are just one short of 100 Champions League victories at home.

But the competition's most experienced club - and one which has attempted to reshape European club football as a founding member of the controversial Super League - were beaten.

Sheriff Tiraspol player celebrate against Real Madrid
Sheriff Tiraspol's second goal sparked wild celebrations
Yuriy Vernydub of FC Sheriff celebrates victory
Manager Yuriy Vernydub and the Sheriff Tiraspol bench celebrate after the final whistle
Players of FC Sheriff celebrate
Sheriff players continued to celebrate well after the final whistle on the Bernabeu pitch
Real Madrid's French forward Karim Benzema looks at the celebration of Sheriff's Brazilian midfielder Bruno Felipe Souza da Silva
Real Madrid's Karim Benzema and the home crowd were left stunned by Sheriff's late winner

Line-ups

Real Madrid

Formation 4-3-3

  • 1Courtois
  • 6NachoSubstituted forRodrygoat 66'minutes
  • 3Militão
  • 4Alaba
  • 35GutiérrezSubstituted forKroosat 66'minutes
  • 15Valverde
  • 14CasemiroBooked at 39minsSubstituted forModricat 66'minutes
  • 25Camavinga
  • 7E HazardSubstituted forJovicat 66'minutesBooked at 81mins
  • 9Benzema
  • 20Vinícius Júnior

Substitutes

  • 5Vallejo
  • 8Kroos
  • 10Modric
  • 11Asensio
  • 13Lunin
  • 16Jovic
  • 17Vázquez
  • 21Rodrygo
  • 22Isco
  • 24Mariano
  • 26López Andúgar
  • 27Blanco

Sheriff Tiraspol

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 30Athanasiadis
  • 13Peixoto Costanza
  • 2Arboleda HurtadoBooked at 17mins
  • 55DulantoBooked at 46mins
  • 15da Silva Leite
  • 21AddoBooked at 45mins
  • 31ThillBooked at 90mins
  • 9Traoré
  • 22KolovosSubstituted forNikolovat 90+2'minutes
  • 10Castañeda VelezSubstituted forJulienat 78'minutes
  • 17YakhshiboevSubstituted forSouza da Silvaat 57'minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Celeadnic
  • 6Radeljic
  • 16Julien
  • 19Cojocari
  • 20Nikolov
  • 33Pascenco
  • 77Souza da Silva
  • 98Cojocaru
  • 99Yansane
Referee:
Lawrence Visser
Attendance:
24,522

Match Stats

Home TeamReal MadridAway TeamSheriff Tiraspol
Possession
Home76%
Away24%
Shots
Home31
Away4
Shots on Target
Home11
Away3
Corners
Home13
Away0
Fouls
Home7
Away12

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Real Madrid 1, Sheriff Tiraspol 2.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Real Madrid 1, Sheriff Tiraspol 2.

  3. Post update

    Attempt saved. Karim Benzema (Real Madrid) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Rodrygo.

  4. Post update

    Attempt saved. Vinícius Júnior (Real Madrid) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by David Alaba with a headed pass.

  5. Post update

    Corner, Real Madrid. Conceded by Gustavo Dulanto.

  6. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Federico Valverde (Real Madrid) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Luka Modric.

  7. Substitution

    Substitution, Sheriff Tiraspol. Boban Nikolov replaces Dimitris Kolovos.

  8. Post update

    Corner, Real Madrid. Conceded by Adama Traoré.

  9. Post update

    Attempt blocked. David Alaba (Real Madrid) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Toni Kroos.

  10. Booking

    Sébastien Thill (Sheriff Tiraspol) is shown the yellow card for excessive celebration.

  11. Goal!

    Goal! Real Madrid 1, Sheriff Tiraspol 2. Sébastien Thill (Sheriff Tiraspol) left footed shot from outside the box to the top left corner. Assisted by Adama Traoré.

  12. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Luka Jovic (Real Madrid) right footed shot from very close range is blocked. Assisted by Rodrygo with a cross.

  13. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Toni Kroos (Real Madrid) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Luka Modric.

  14. Post update

    Corner, Real Madrid. Conceded by Bruno.

  15. Post update

    Corner, Real Madrid. Conceded by Keston Julien.

  16. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Luka Modric (Real Madrid) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Vinícius Júnior.

  17. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Toni Kroos (Real Madrid) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Luka Modric.

  18. Post update

    Attempt saved. Sébastien Thill (Sheriff Tiraspol) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Cristiano.

  19. Post update

    Attempt missed. Rodrygo (Real Madrid) left footed shot from the centre of the box is just a bit too high. Assisted by Vinícius Júnior.

  20. Post update

    Attempt missed. Luka Jovic (Real Madrid) header from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Rodrygo with a cross.

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