Cristiano Ronaldo last-minute winner saw Real Madrid overcome English champions, Manchester City 3-2 in quite an epic encounter at the Bernabeu.
In a group that sees champions from England, Spain, Germany and Netherlands all compete against each other, most eyes were on the Bernabeu tonight as Manchester City tried to upset all the odds and take three points back to England. This unlikely result was only three minutes away from being fulfilled, but two late goals from Benzema and Ronaldo denied Mancini’s men a dream victory.
The first half was very much dominated by the home side and it only took class saves from England number one, Joe Hart to deny Real Madrid from taking the lead. Hart denied Cristiano Ronaldo on numerous occasions and his performance looked like it was going to help Manchester City get an unlikely three points.
The dream for City started when Edin Dzeko gave them the lead with just 20 minutes to go after slotting home past Ilker Casillas after receiving a nice through ball from Yaya Toure. However they couldn’t hang on and conceded the lead when Marcelo scored a brilliantly placed effort past Joe Hart to make it 1-1 with just 15 minutes left.
With just five minutes left, once again Man City looked like they had got an unlikely victory when a Aleksandar Kolarov free-kick went all the way in after avoiding all players in the box. With just five minutes left in Spain, City were in sight of a massive Champions League victory, but that was once again snathed away from them when Karim Benzema curled home from outside the box to make it 2-2 with just three minutes remaining.
A draw would have still been a great result for Mancini’s men, but a late ditch Ronaldo effort went over Kompany’s head and nestled into the far corner past stranded Joe Hart. The Bernabeu erupted with Madrid coach, Jose Mourinho, finding it hard to contain his emotions as he ran onto the pitch and slid on his knees.
Manchester City keeper, Joe Hart, was visibly annoyed at the ending of the match, he said: “It’s not on. You can’t go 2-1 up and lose the game. 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.”
His manager, Roberto Mancini, shared his thoughts as well: “We are disappointed. I think in the first half we did not play well but in the second half we did and when you score two goals here and go 2-1 up, you should pay more attention.
“We can’t continue to talk about experience, we have good players playing in their national team and play lot of games. I am happy for our performance in second half and need to improve but we should be disappointed as we lose these points.
On the other side, Real Madrid coach, Mourinho, could barely hide his delight at snatching all three points right at the end: “It is a good one because the DNA of my team is back. They [the players] proved to me that if they want to be top professionals and respect Real Madrid’s history they can do it. I’m so happy with the attitude of the players. It is a big victory against a big team. No [I don’t have sympathy with Manchester City]. That’s football. We deserved to win. If I felt we didn’t I would have more sympathy for them.”
Manchester City now have the hard task of getting over the last minute loss and they face Arsenal in the Premier League on Sunday.
Alex William Batt