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14 December, 2018 00:00 00 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 14 December, 2018 12:16:43 AM
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‘Not a path of roses’

Goal.com, Madrid
‘Not a path of roses’
Real Madrid players react after the Champions League group match against CSKA Moscow at Santiago Barnabeu Stadium in Madrid on Wednesday. AFP PHOTO

CSKA Moscow’s 3-0 win over Real Madrid in the Champions League is the biggest home defeat the Spanish side have ever suffered in European competition. While reigning title holders Madrid were already sure of their first place finish in Group G heading into Wednesday’s match at the Santiago Bernabeu, their Russian opponents still had their eye on beating Viktoria Plzen to third place.

Through goals from Fedor Chalov and Georgi Shchennikov, the visitors had a two-goal lead by half-time and Santiago Solari’s team had no luck in finding a way back in to the game. Arnor Sigurdsson had it wrapped up with 15 minutes left, as CSKA became the first team to come away from a trip to Los Blancos with such a scoreline in any continental tournament.

It is the first time Madrid have lost a group stage match at home since October 2009, when AC Milan beat them 3-2 - that was 28 games ago.

Although CSKA crashed out of Europe altogether as Viktoria Plzen beat them to the Europa League place with a 2-1 win over Roma, the Russian side can take solace in the fact they are the first team to have beaten Madrid both home and away in the group stages of the competition since Juventus did it in 2008-09.

Madrid will not be too disheartened by their performance, given Solari made big changes to his starting XI for the game. With an average age of 24 years and 100 days, Solari’s team was the third youngest Madrid have ever fielded in the Champions League.

Meanwhile, Madrid’s highly-rated winger Vinicius Junior made his first Champions League start for the club at just 18 years and 152 days old - Iker Casillas and Raul are the only Madrid players to have started a game in the competition at a younger age.

Santiago Solari has taken responsibility for Real Madrid’s home defeat to CSKA Moscow after fielding an inexperienced team in their final Group G match. Real had already secured qualification for the knockout stages as group winners, giving Solari an opportunity to give some Champions League game time to some of his younger, less experienced players.

But that decision backfired and Solari has admitted that his side “were not strong in any of the areas” in what was their second group stage defeat this term.

“I’m leaving sad because of the result. I know we take risks. I have it clear,” the Real Madrid boss said.

“The match could be different, because it depends on the strength. We were not strong in any of the areas.

“I did not like the second half. I must take responsibility for the team that I fielded and the game I am proposing, with many young guys.

“It has helped us to give them experience and they need it: young players, players who need rest and those who come back from injury. It is not a path of roses. “We do not like the result. We had confidence in a victory.”

One player who has struggled for game time since Solari took over from former coach Julen Lopetegui is midfielder Isco.

The Spain star was one of a number of players to struggle against CSKA, with the home crowd voicing their disappointment at his performance level on a number of occasions.

At one point, Isco appeared to turn on the Real supporters by shouting back in their direction. But a revival has started under Solari, with four wins in five games closing the gap to La Liga leaders Barcelona to five points. “I know it’s not a path of roses, and besides, every rose has its thorns,” Solari said. “We don’t like this result, we wanted to finish with a victory.”

Real will now turn their attentions to Saturday’s league match at home against Rayo Vallecano.

 

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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