Thirteen-time European Cup winners Real Madrid were Wednesday evening handed a humiliating defeat as a shambolic first-half performance was clinically punished by a second-string Shakhtar Donetsk side.
The Ukrainian champions arrived in Madrid without 13 first-team players after 19 positive Covid-19 tests throughout the club left them needing to call up youth-team players.
But Luis Castro’s young side were undaunted and swept into an amazing, but thoroughly warranted, 3-0 lead at Real’s empty Alfredo di Stefano training ground.
Goals from Luka Modric and Vinicius Junior after the break gave Real hope, but there was no escape for the competition’s most decorated side despite a dramatic finale.
Federico Valverde thought he had hit a stoppage-time leveller but after a check at the pitchside monitor referee Srdjan Jovanovic disallowed the goal for offside.
Club legend Zinedine Zidane won the Champions League in each of his first three seasons in charge of Real, but his decision to rest players with next Saturday’s El Clasico against Barcelona in mind was a rare, and huge, aberration.
Without captain Sergio Ramos – left in the stands with a knee injury – Real’s defence was a mess and could do little to prevent Mateus Tete and Manor Solomon scoring either side of a Raphael Varane own goal.
Former Tottenham midfielder Modric hit a stunning long-range strike to bring a ray of hope and, although Vinicius scored within 15 seconds of coming, on Shakhtar held on for a famous result.
In one of the other games in the early Wednesday kick off, RB Salzburg drew 2-2 with with Lokomotiv Moscow.