It’s been a while since Cristiano Ronaldo was seen celebrating a goal for his team Real Madrid. But then again, there hasn’t been much to celebrate at the Bernabeu as the Madridstas season hasn’t really kicked off the way they would have liked to.
Their league form has been wanting to say the least and it seemed they were on the brink of a defeat Tuesday night against Manchester City in their Champions League group stage encounter.
With five minutes remaining on the clock, City were 2-1 up and looked to be on course of getting a famous win at the Bernabeu but two goals inside those five minutes including Ronaldo’s winner in the 90th minute gave the hosts the win.
In truth, Madrid never struggled in this game and could have killed the game in the first half were it not for some impressive saves from City custodian Joe Hart who ensured the half ended in a stalemate.
Madrid continued to bomb forward in the second half but they would fall behind against the run of play in the 69th minute when substitute Edin Dzeko pulled City ahead with a left-footed strike off a Yaya Toure through ball.
Mourinho had seen enough and decided to make a double substitution in the 73rd minute by introducing Luka Modric and Karim Benzema for Sami Khedira and Gonzalo Higuain. The reigning La Liga champions looked dangerous almost immediately and they drew level three minutes later with Marcelo curling in past Hart from just outside the penalty area.
Real continued to push on for the winner but it’s Roberto Mancini’s men who seemed to have grabbed it when Aleksandar Koralov curled in a free kick that evaded everyone to put City 2-1 to the good with five minutes before the final whistle.
The Bernabeu crowd was rocked and no one could have predicted what would transpire inside the last five minutes. First, Karim Benzema fired in from the edge of the box to make it 2-2, giving way to CR7 to score the winner in the 90th minute, one that drew wild celebrations from the Madrid fans, Mourinho, but most importantly, Cristiano Ronaldo himself.
In the other encounter in the group, Robert Lewandowski strike in the 87th minute helped Borussia Dortmund grab a vital 1-0 win over Ajax at Signal-Iduna-Park in Dortmund.
In Group B, Arsenal continued their dominance over French clubs by beating Montpellier 2-1. Younes Belhanda gave the French champions the lead in the 9th minute via a penalty but two goals in two minutes from Lukas Podolski and Gervinho broke the hearts of the home crowd. German side Schalke won 2-1 away to Olympiakos.
AC Milan failed to register a win at the San Siro when they were held to a 0-0 draw by Anderlecht while Malaga romped past Zenit St. Petersburg 3-0. Lucho Gonzalez and Steven Defour were on target for Porto in their 2-0 win away to Dinamo Zagreb while PSG eased past Dynamo Kiev 4-1 with new signings Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Thiago Silva both netting for the Ligue 1 outfit. The other two goals were scored by Argentine Javier Pastore and Alex. Kiev’s consolation was scored by Miguel Veloso.
On Wednesday, champions Chelsea will start their title defence at Stamford Bridge against Juventus in Group E. Shaktar Donetsk welcome Nordsjaelland in the other group encounter.
Barcelona will have home advantage against Spartak Moscow while Celtic will play Benfica. Lille play host to BATE Borisov in Group F with last season’s losing finalist Bayern Munich hosting Valencia.
Manchester United versus Galatasaray and SC Braga versus CFR Cluj are the other fixtures.
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