Moldovan side, FC Sheriff Tiraspol caused one of the biggest upsets in Champions League history when they defeated record winners, Real Madrid on Matchday 2 of the 2021/22 UEFA Champions League. Playing just their second match ever in the Champions League, Sheriff were fearless and played like a team with nothing to lose. The result for their enterprise and bravery was a shock 2-1 victory over the 13-time winners of the competition right at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Real Madrid Vs. FC Sheriff Tiraspol Match Review
Sheriff travelled to the Santiago Bernabeu on the back of an encouraging 2-0 home win against Shakhtar Donetsk in the Matchday 1 fixture. The Moldovan champions soaked up the pressure from their more experienced opponents and sought to catch them on the break. Despite being on the back foot all through with a 76% - 24% possession stats, they were clinical in front of goal, scoring their 2 goals from just 3 shots on target.
While they went ahead to a predatory goal in the 25th minute, Real Madrid finally breached their defence for the first time in Europe this season through a Karim Benzema penalty. While it seemed the Moldovan side would hang on for an impressive 1-1 draw, 'the wasps', kept pushing till they won it at the death through a Sebastien Thill wonder-strike from the edge of the box. This win sees them lead Group D with a maximum 6 points out of 6 ahead of Madrid (3 points) and Inter Milan (1 point).
FC Sheriff Tiraspol history in Europe
Sheriff are making their UEFA Champions League debut this season after trying to qualify for Europe's elite club competition for 20 years. Founded in 1997, Sheriff won their first title; the Moldovan Cup, in 1998 and had been trying to qualify for the Champions League since 2000. Between 2000 and 2009, they never made it past the second qualifying round.
In 2009, they made their debut appearance in Europe in the Europa League, crashing out of the second-tier competition in the group stage after finishing 3rd. Three more Europa League appearances were achieved in 2010/11, 2013/14 and 2017/18 seasons, all truncating at the group stage with third-place finishes. With two wins out of two so far, Sheriff stand an outside chance of progressing past the group if they can pick up points in the upcoming doubleheader against Inter Milan.