Real Madrid: Three keys to a victory against Shakhtar Donetsk

Real Madrid's players take part in a training session at the Olympiyskiy stadium in Kiev on November 30, 2020 on the eve of the UEFA Champions League football match between Shakhtar Donetsk and Real Madrid. (Photo by Sergei SUPINSKY / AFP) (Photo by SERGEI SUPINSKY/AFP via Getty Images)
Real Madrid's players take part in a training session at the Olympiyskiy stadium in Kiev on November 30, 2020 on the eve of the UEFA Champions League football match between Shakhtar Donetsk and Real Madrid. (Photo by Sergei SUPINSKY / AFP) (Photo by SERGEI SUPINSKY/AFP via Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Diego Souto/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)
(Photo by Diego Souto/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images) /

An early goal

Borussia Monchengladbach defeated Shakhtar 6-0 and 4-0 in its last two Champions League games. The biggest key in those games was an early goal that forced the Ukrainian outfit to push upfield and look for an equalizer.

When that happened, the Germans were able to easily and clinically pick apart its opponent. In the 6-0 victory in Kyiv, Alassane Plea scored eight minutes in and the flood gates opened. Gladbach went on to score four before the break and looked comfortable swatting away attack after attack from Shakhtar.

In the 4-0 win last week, Gladbach scored 17 minutes in through Lars Stindl and added two more before the break. If Real Madrid can find that early breakthrough – much like they did against Inter Milan in the San Siro – this will be a routine win.

dark. Next. Five takeaways from the season so far

Shakhtar is still in contention to make it through to the knockout stage and lead by Inter by two points with two matches remaining in the group stage. If Donetsk can earn a draw or perhaps another upset win, they could sneak past both of the favorites in Group B.

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