Late show gives Real Madrid home win over City
Real Madrid scored two goals in the last four minutes to come back from 1-2 down and seal a dramatic 3-2 win at home over Manchester City in the first game of their Champions League group phase
Things had looked bleak for Madrid when they went 1-2 behind to a Koralov free kick five minutes from the end. But the home side's greater attacking convictions saw them snatch late goals from Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo at the Bernabeu here Tuesday, reports Xinhua.
Following his complaints at his side's defeat in Seville at the weekend, Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho made changes to his starting squad. Rafael Varene replaced Sergio Ramos in defence in a move that can probably be seen as a adjustment, while Michael Essien made his debut in a three man central midfield, with Mesut Ozil also dropped.
Although that may have seen a defensive move, the fact is that Madrid controlled the first half against the Premier League champions.
Manchester City keeper Joe Hart had to be attentive to make two good saves from Cristiano Ronaldo as City relinquished possession and defending deep with Madrid moving the ball at will.
City were defending deep and limiting Madrid to shots from distance, but visiting coach Roberto Mancini was clearly unhappy with the display as he replaced the ineffective Samir Nasri with Alexandr Kolarov just after the half hour.
Madrid dominated the first half and were still on top when the second kicked off. Mourinho replaced Essien with Ozil midway through the half in a clearly attacking move, but it was City who took the lead when Edin Dzeko, who had just replaced David Silva, finished off a fine break started by Toure Yaya.
Mourinho reacted by replacing Gonzalo Higuain and Sami Khedira with Karim Benzema and Luka Modric, just before Toure fired into the side netting.
Marcelo levelled for Madrid with 15 minutes remaining with a right foot shot which deflected off Javi Garcia to leave Hart with no chance.
Manchester City retook the lead with a Kolarov free kick which evaded everyone and went in at the far post with just five minute remaining, but Benzema levelled two minutes later with his first goal since May.
He set up Ronaldo a minute later but Hart again responded with a fine save, but Ronaldo scored a winning goal for Madrid in the last minute with a shot that dipped horribly to leave Hart clutching shadows.
Unsurprisingly this time, he did celebrate his goal.