Thursday, September 20, 2012

Cristiano Ronaldo Saves the Day For Real Madrid in Tense Champions League Opener

Santiago Bernabeu witnessed a heart-throbbing fixture between two clubs heavily touted to become European club champions – Real Madrid and Manchester City. The more-experienced Los Blancos got the head start in the Champions League group match after fabled striker Cristiano Ronaldo hit a goal on the last minutes of the game, bringing his team to a 3-2 victory.

The Citizens are well aware that in playign against tough oponnent Madrid, they have to go against the pressure brought by the prestige and history of the nine-time Champions League winners. Keeper Joe Hart was busy fending off goal attempts from the opposition while striker Edin Dzeko opened the scoring in the middle of the second half – much to the surprise of the Madridistas.

The Madrid squad knew that it cannot let City’s lead last long, as shown by an equalizer from Marcelo that initially came off from a deflected shot. An Aleksandar Kolarov free kick on the 85th minute pressured the Spanish champions once more.

With not much time left, agitated Madrid played on to salvage at least an equalizer. Karim Benzema found his way past City’s new defender Matija Nastasic to penetrate the bottom corner of the enemy woodwork.

Both City and Madrid struggled on until the end to hold on and seek another advantage, as the game looked headed for a draw. The Spanish outfit prevailed, as Ronaldo dealt a deceptive strike past Hart to give the game to Madrid.

Before the successful late-game efforts of Madrid, City appeared confident of getting away with a win. Hart impressed blue Manchester through acting on numerous saves, most notably when the keeper fended off Ronaldo’s early attempt and closed down Gonzalo Higuain’s header.

Yaya Toure provided City great attacking power, having given Madrid defensive worries in the first half and assisted Dzeko in his goal. Carlos Tevez almost had his name in the score sheet if not for an off-balanced wide shot.

Jose Mourinho, keeping in mind his side’s dismal La Liga form, brought in Mesut Ozil, Benzema and Luka Modric after failures coming from Sami Khedira and Higuain. The manager’s pitch slide following Ronaldo’s late goal showed his delight for the victory.

Roberto Mancini’s men walked away frustrated, knowing that a win would have been possible. Dzeko remarked that the match taught them a lesson – that to become the best in Europe, they have to win matches against the likes of Madrid.

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Photo credits:

Cristiano Ronaldo Celebrates Champions League Goal [Photograph]. (2012). Retrieved 19 September 2012, from < >


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