2020 has been an unusual year to say the least of it. A worldwide pandemic sent the world into lockdown for the first time in decades, with football being sent on an indefinite break in the middle of the season.
The matches have resumed but there are many more instances of the most unusual of things happening in this year of years, including the record winners of the UEFA Champions League stumbling not once, but twice in the group stages of Europe’s biggest club competition.
Real Madrid lost 2-0 away to Shakhtar Donetsk, and their defensive positioning to concede the first goal of the night is truly unusual and a horrific watch if you support the club.
As Shakhtar attempted to switch flanks and hit Real on the counter in the 57th minute, they left Real’s defensive shape looking like it is in absolute tatters and quite amateur for a team of their calibre and status.
Real went on to concede from the same attack, as Viktor Kovalenko’s drilled pass into the box was intercepted by Ferland Mendy, only for Raphael Varane to inexplicably leave it to Dentinho: who slotted the ball calmly into the goal past an onrushing Thibaut Courtois.
The Spanish champions were broken apart by a swift counter attacking move, as five of their players were unnaturally central and close to each other while defending a quick, and dangerous switch of flanks.
Check out the dreadful formation below –
This was Real’s second loss in the competition’s group stages this season, after their defeat to Borussia Monchengladbach. Defensive instability has been a theme for them this season, with Los Blancos sitting in third place in their group behind Monchengladbach and Shakhtar.
While Zinédine Zidane might have a lot to say in the Real dressing room after their immensely lacklustre display, Real’s defensive shape leading to the aforementioned goal simply sums up the year 2020 in a nutshell: unusual, peculiar and downright abnormal.