MADRID - Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti struggled to explain how his side were beaten 2-1 at home by rank outsiders Sheriff Tiraspol in the Champions League on Tuesday after dominating every aspect of the match with the exception of the scoreline.
Luxembourg midfielder Sebastien Thill scored an outstanding late half volley to snatch an unlikely victory for Sheriff, who reached the Champions League group stage for the first time this season after winning four qualifying rounds.
Sheriff took the lead against the run of play with a header from Jasurbek Yakhshiboev while Karim Benzema equalised for the 13-times European champions with a second-half penalty before Thill secured the victory.
Real had 30 shots on goal and 11 on target while keeping 67% of possession and winning 13 corners while the Moldovan side had only four attempts, scoring two of their three shots on target and failing to win a single corner.
"Everything went well for them while everything we did turned out badly," Ancelotti told reporters after his side's first defeat of the season.
"More than worried we are sad. We played with intensity and commitment but lost due to the finest details. The team played well, we could have been sharper in the area but it's difficult to explain what happened.
"The small details cost us the game and we should learn from that in the future. But this was a defeat we did not deserve."
Sheriff, who were founded in 1997, are top of Group D with six points, after beating Shakhtar Donetsk 2-0 in their opening game.
"I dreamed of winning in the Bernabeu, I have always followed Madrid they are the most successful team in the Champions League so to beat them at home is a huge achievement," said Sheriff defender Gustavo Dulanto.
"There's still a long way to go and we can't relax because there's no logic in football, as today's result shows. We came here with the knife between our teeth but we can only look forward to the next game."
When Sheriff Tiraspol were formed in 1997, Real Madrid had already won...— Goal (@goal) September 28, 2021
🇪🇸 27 La Liga titles
🏆 6 European Cups
👑 17 Copas del Rey
We've just seen one of the biggest shocks EVER 🤯 pic.twitter.com/4pUtcrQhAZ
Captain Frank Castaneda revealed his side had fancied their chances before kickoff.
"We knew we could win here and before the game we had it in our heads that we could and as captain I tried to motivate the team and tell them we could do it because this is football," he said.
"Real Madrid is an historic team but on the pitch it's 11 players versus 11 and we came here to get the victory and got it."
Match-winner Thill added: "We're so happy today. We played a really good game. The side were so brave with how we played and luckily enough I was able to score a bit of a stunner."