Champions League

Madrid down City in thriller

2012-09-18 22:50
Cristiano Ronaldo (AP)
Madrid - Real Madrid pulled off a stunning Champions League comeback when they twice fought back from a goal down as Cristiano Ronaldo netted a 90th-minute winner in a 3-2 Group D win at home to Manchester City on Tuesday.

City stunned the Bernabeu when substitute Edin Dzeko raced clear to make it 1-0 in the 69th minute before Marcelo equalised eight minutes later with a deflected effort.

The English champions were ahead again five minutes from time when Real goalkeeper Iker Casillas failed to deal with Aleksandar Kolarov's in-swinging free kick but the home side snatched victory in a frenetic ending.

Karim Benzema made it 2-2 in the 87th minute with a low shot that sneaked inside the post before Ronaldo cut in from the left and his powerful drive flew into the net off goalkeeper Joe Hart to send the crowd into raptures.

"It's not on. You can't go 2-1 up and lose the game," Hart told ITV.

"We can only blame ourselves. They are a very good team and so are we. We dug deep, got a lead twice and threw it away. It's hard to come off the field after losing 3-2 and be positive."

Real were under pressure to produce a convincing European performance after a stuttering start to their La Liga campaign and made their intentions clear early when Ronaldo forced two fine saves from Hart.

City barely had a sniff of goal in the first half, while Real striker Gonzalo Higuain fluffed two clear chances, one when he was clean through with only Hart to beat and the other when he volleyed over from close range.

Twice in the second period it looked as if City might pull off a smash and grab raid in the home of the nine-times winners but each time Real found an answer.

Ronaldo's dramatic late winner prompted wild celebrations among the Real faithful and under pressure coach Jose Mourinho performed a celebratory knee slide onto the pitch.

"It is a good win because the DNA of my team is back," Mourinho said.

Champions League results on Tuesday:

Group A

Dinamo Zagreb (Croatia) 0, FC Porto (Portugal) 2
Paris Saint-Germain (France) 4, Dynamo Kiev (Ukraine) 1

Group B

Montpellier (France) 1, Arsenal (England) 2
Olympiakos (Greece) 1, Schalke (Germany) 2

Group C

Malaga (Spain) 3, Zenit St. Petersburg (Russia) 0
AC Milan (Italy) 0, Anderlecht (Belgium) 0

Group D

Borussia Dortmund (Germany) 1, Ajax (Netherlands) 0
Real Madrid (Spain) 3, Manchester City (England) 2

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21 October 2014
BATE Borisov v Shakhtar Donetsk, Borisov Arena 20:45
Barcelona v Ajax, Camp Nou 20:45
FC Porto v Athletic Club, Estadio do Dragao 20:45
APOEL Nicosia v Paris Saint Germain, GSP Stadium 20:45
Roma v FC Bayern München, Olimpico 20:45
Chelsea v NK Maribor, Stamford Bridge 20:45
FC Schalke 04 v Sporting Lisbon, VELTINS-Arena 20:45
22 October 2014
Liverpool v Real Madrid, Anfield 20:45
Bayer 04 Leverkusen v Zenit St Petersburg, BayArena 20:45
RSC Anderlecht v Arsenal, Constant Vanden Stock 20:45
Olympiakos v Juventus, Karaiskaki Stadium 20:45
Ludogorets Razgrad v FC Basel, Ludogorets Arena 20:45
Monaco v Benfica, Stade Louis II 20:45
Galatasaray v Borussia Dortmund, Türk Telekom Arena 20:45
Atlético de Madrid v Malmö FF, Vicente Calderón 20:45
04 November 2014
Zenit St Petersburg v Bayer 04 Leverkusen, Petrovski Stadium 19:00
Arsenal v RSC Anderlecht, Emirates Stadium 21:45
Benfica v Monaco, Estadio da Luz 21:45
Juventus v Olympiakos, Juventus Stadium 21:45
Real Madrid v Liverpool, Santiago Bernabéu 21:45
Borussia Dortmund v Galatasaray, Signal Iduna Park 21:45
FC Basel v Ludogorets Razgrad, St Jakob-Park 21:45
Malmö FF v Atlético de Madrid, Swedbank Stadion 21:45
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