REAL MADRID have lost more Champions League group games since Cristiano Ronaldo left than they did in his nine years at the club.
On Tuesday, Shakhtar Donetsk became the second team in three seasons to complete the double over Los Blancos at that stage of the competition after CSKA Moscow’s victories two years ago.
Real Madrid have lost five group games since selling Cristiano Ronaldo to Juventus in 2018[/caption]
During Ronaldo’s nine years at the Bernabeu, they lost just three out of 54[/caption]
And remarkably Real have lost five of their 17 group stage matches since Ronaldo left for Juventus in 2018.
By contrast, the Spanish giants were defeated just three times out of 54 in Ronaldo’s nine campaigns between 2009-10 and 2017-18.
In four of those seasons, Ronaldo and his team-mates went on to win the competition.
During Ronaldo’s time at the Bernabeu, the only group losses came at home to AC Milan (October 2009) and away to Borussia Dortmund (October 2012) and Tottenham (November 2017).
However, immediately after the Portuguese star’s departure, Real went down in both matches against CSKA Moscow in the 2018-19 season.
Last year, finalists Paris Saint-Germain earned a 3-0 win in France before the pair of Shakhtar shockers this season.
And the defeats to the Ukrainian champions – who lost their two matches to Borussia Monchengladbach 6-0 and 4-0 – piles the pressure on Zinedine Zidane’s side to deliver in their final group game next week.
Real go into their crunch clash with Monchengladbach third in Group B on seven points, level with Shakhtar – behind on their head-to-head record – and one behind the Germans.
Real Madrid Champions League group defeats since 2009-10
21/10/09 Real Madrid 2-3 AC Milan
24/10/12 Borussia Dortmund 2-1 Real Madrid
01/11/17 Tottenham 3-1 Real Madrid
02/10/18 CSKA Moscow 1-0 Real Madrid
12/12/18 Real Madrid 0-3 CSKA Moscow
18/09/19 PSG 3-0 Real Madrid
21/10/20 Real Madrid 2-3 Shakhtar Donetsk
01/12/20 Shakhtar Donetsk 2-0 Real Madrid
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It means Zidane’s men cannot afford to lose at the Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano next Wednesday or they will crash out at the group stage for the first time in their Champions League history.
Victory would guarantee their passage as they would move on to ten points.
But a draw would leave Los Blancos relying on Inter Milan to help out by beating Shakhtar at the San Siro.
When the pressure is on though, and Real have needed to find a result in the final matchday of a Champions League group, they have gone through in all six instances.
While Real Madrid suffered another defeat in midweek, 24 hours later Ronaldo was on target with his 750th career goal to help Juventus beat Dynamo Kiev.
Juventus have confirmed their place in the knockout stages but will need a big win in the Nou Camp next week to pip Barcelona to top spot.
Jurgen Klopp recorded a win over Jose Mourinho in the 2012-13 group stages on Borussia Dortmund’s route to the final[/caption]