Champions League

Real strike late to progress on Ronaldo's homecoming

2016-11-23 07:58
Cristiano Ronaldo (Getty Images)

Lisbon - Cristiano Ronaldo was lauded like a king on his return to where his career began at Sporting Lisbon, but Real Madrid showed no mercy in booking their place in the knockout stages for a 20th consecutive season with a 2-1 win on Tuesday.

However, victory came at a cost for the European champions as Gareth Bale limped off just before the hour mark with an ankle injury just 11 days before Real travel to face Barcelona in El Clasico.

Real had substitute Karim Benzema to thank for all three points as he came off the bench to down Sporting's 10 men with a fine finish from Sergio Ramos's cross.

Raphael Varane had fired Real into a first-half lead, but Sporting captain Adrien Silva levelled from the penalty spot after Joao Pereira had seen a straight red card.

Real still need to beat Borussia Dortmund at home in two weeks' time to top Group F after the Germans thrashed Legia Warsaw 8-4.

"The good thing is we didn't give up," said a relieved Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane.

"When you concede you can think it is going to be difficult, but we kept going and in the end got the goal through Karim. I am happy for him and the team as a whole."

Ronaldo's name was loudly cheered amidst the otherwise din of whistles that greeted the announcement of the Real team, whilst a banner with the message "Made in Sporting" was raised by the home fans with a picture of a teenage Ronaldo in their famous green and white hooped shirt.

Despite leaving Sporting for Manchester United at just 18 having not even won a trophy with the Portuguese giants, Ronaldo is revered in Lisbon having captained his country to a first ever international tournament win at Euro 2016.

The affection shown may even have had an effect on the normally ruthless Ronaldo as for the first time in four meetings against Sporting he failed to find the net.

After an intense Sporting start buoyed by a boisterous atmosphere, the holders slowly grabbed a stranglehold of the game and went in front on 29 minutes when Luka Modric's low free-kick was deflected into Varane's path and the French international swept home his third goal of the season.

Madrid captain Ramos was making his first appearance in six weeks after spraining knee ligaments and came to his side's rescue moments later to deflect Bruno Cesar's goalbound shot behind.

Real were put under pressure at the start of the second period as Ramos cleared a dangerous cross from Gelson Martins and further disrupted as Bale hobbled off.

Zidane confirmed that further tests will be carried out on the Welshman back in Madrid to determine the extent of the injury.

However, Sporting's chances looked to have gone when Pereira was harshly shown red for an off-the-ball clash with Mateo Kovacic.

Despite their numerical disadvantage, Sporting were level 10 minutes from time when Silva blasted home from the penalty spot after substitute Fabio Coentrao had been penalised for handball.

Joel Campbell even had an effort saved by Costa Rican international team-mate Keylor Navas as Sporting searched for the winner they needed to keep their Champions League hopes alive.

Instead, they were hit with a Real sucker punch as Benzema fired low into the far corner to set up a shootout with Dortmund for top spot in a fortnight.

NEXT ON SPORT24X

What To Read Next

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Fixtures
Tuesday, 02 October 2018
Juventus v Young Boys, Allianz Stadium 18:55
Hoffenheim v Manchester City, Wirsol Rhein-Neckar-Arena 18:55
Bayern Munchen v Ajax, Allianz-Arena 21:00
Olympique Lyonnais v Shakhtar Donetsk, Groupama OL Academy Decines-Charpieu 21:00
Manchester United v Valencia, Old Trafford 21:00
AEK Athens v Benfica, Olympiako Stadio Spyros Louis 21:00
Roma v Viktoria Plzen, Stadio Olimpico 21:00
CSKA Moskva v Real Madrid, VEB Arena 21:00
Wednesday, 03 October 2018
PSG v Crvena Zvezda, Parc des Princes 18:55
Lokomotiv Moskva v Schalke 04, RZD Arena 18:55
Porto v Galatasaray, Estadio Do Dragao 21:00
Atletico Madrid v Club Brugge, Estadio Wanda Metropolitano 21:00
PSV v Internazionale, Philips Stadion 21:00
Borussia Dortmund v Monaco, Signal-Iduna-Park 21:00
Napoli v Liverpool, Stadio San Paolo 21:00
Tottenham Hotspur v Barcelona, Wembley Stadium 21:00
Tuesday, 23 October 2018
AEK Athens v Bayern Munchen, Olympiako Stadio Spyros Louis 18:55
Young Boys v Valencia, STADE DE SUISSE Wankdorf Bern 18:55
Real Madrid v Viktoria Plzen, Estadio Santiago Bernabeu 21:00
Ajax v Benfica, Johan Cruijff ArenA 21:00
Shakhtar Donetsk v Manchester City, Oblasny SportKomplex Metalist 21:00
Manchester United v Juventus, Old Trafford 21:00
Roma v CSKA Moskva, Stadio Olimpico 21:00
Hoffenheim v Olympique Lyonnais, Wirsol Rhein-Neckar-Arena 21:00
Wednesday, 24 October 2018
Club Brugge v Monaco, Jan Breydelstadion 18:55
PSV v Tottenham Hotspur, Philips Stadion 18:55
Liverpool v Crvena Zvezda, Anfield 21:00
Barcelona v Internazionale, Camp Nou 21:00
PSG v Napoli, Parc des Princes 21:00
Lokomotiv Moskva v Porto, RZD Arena 21:00
Borussia Dortmund v Atletico Madrid, Signal-Iduna-Park 21:00
Galatasaray v Schalke 04, Turk Telekom Stadyumu 21:00
Tuesday, 06 November 2018
Monaco v Club Brugge, Stade Louis II 19:55
Crvena Zvezda v Liverpool, Stadion Rajko Mitic 19:55
Porto v Lokomotiv Moskva, Estadio Do Dragao 22:00
Atletico Madrid v Borussia Dortmund, Estadio Wanda Metropolitano 22:00
Internazionale v Barcelona, Stadio Giuseppe Meazza 22:00
Napoli v PSG, Stadio San Paolo 22:00
Schalke 04 v Galatasaray, Veltins-Arena 22:00
Tottenham Hotspur v PSV, Wembley Stadium 22:00
Wednesday, 07 November 2018
Valencia v Young Boys, Estadio de Mestalla 19:55
CSKA Moskva v Roma, VEB Arena 19:55
Juventus v Manchester United, Allianz Stadium 22:00
Bayern Munchen v AEK Athens, Allianz-Arena 22:00
Viktoria Plzen v Real Madrid, Doosan Arena 22:00
Benfica v Ajax, Estadio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica (da Luz) 22:00
Manchester City v Shakhtar Donetsk, Etihad Stadium 22:00
Olympique Lyonnais v Hoffenheim, Groupama Stadium 22:00
Logs
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team
Vote

Which English Premier League club will progress furthest in this season's Champions League?

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Featured

The 2018/19 Absa Premiership season is in full swing. Will Mamelodi Sundowns retain their title? Or can one of Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates, Wits, SuperSport United - or another team perhaps - snatch glory from the Brazilians? Be sure to visit Sport24 for all the latest news!

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.