Just one day into the group stage of the Champions League, and Real Madrid v Manchester City may still go down as the most exciting match in the entire tournament come May’s finale. Real Madrid were in desperate need of a strong performance, and despite dominating the game, Manchester City looked certain to sink them even further. With five goals in all, and a flurry of late goals from both sides, Real Madrid came from behind twice to beat Manchester City 3-2. If there were ever must-see highlights, these would be them. Take a look at the Real Madrid v Manchester City goals and highlights video below.
2012-13 Champions League: Real Madrid (3) v Manchester City (2) – Goals and Highlights [VIDEO]
Real Madrid, who started their La Liga season with two dreadful defeats, had a lot to prove in today’s match. With the eyes of their city upon them, they came out firing on all cylinders. They pushed City into their defensive end early, and hardly ever let them out. They fired shots and crosses from all angles, but a spectacular performance from Joe Hart kept them from hitting the back of the net.
I’ll be the first to say that Real Madrid often become static on the field, playing as 11 individuals rather than a fluid, cohesive team, but this was not the case today. They did well moving off the ball and showed the dynamism of which they are capable. They maintained possession,
Manchester City’s rare opportunities in the entire game came from attacking runs from Yaya Toure in the middle of the pitch, and it was exactly this type of play that created the opening goal. He picked up a loose ball in the middle of the field, charged ahead, put Real on their heels, and and found Dzeko breaking in front of him — he only had to slot it home to take the lead. City were caught ahead of the ball, and Toure made them pay.
Madrid spent no time wallowing in pity, however. They went right back to the same business they had been conducting before the goal. Just 8 minutes later, Marcelo, who looked ripe for a goal the entire match, cut from left to right at the top of the box and curled a shot past Hart with his weaker foot.
The drama was far, far from over. Real Madrid were incredibly unlucky in the 85th minute when Kolarov whipped a 35 yard free kick into the box that nobody on either side touched. It slipped inside the post before Casillas even reacted.
Then, only two minutes later, Real Madrid leveled the score yet again on a brilliant turn-and-shoot from substitute Karim Benzema. With one touch at the top of the box, the Frenchman spun around and snapped a low shot before anyone on City knew it was coming. Had it been just a few inches to either side, it was sure to meet either the post or Joe Hart’s outstretched hand.
Despite looking certain to end in a tie, with City walking away with two crucial away goals, the game had more excitement in store. As he does better than any player in the world, Cristiano Ronaldo made a sharp cut deep on the side of the box that left the defender nearly falling over himself. He ripped a shot from 10-or-so yards out that may have taken a deflection, but slipped underneath Hart’s glove nonetheless. The Bernabeu erupted in celebration, Jose Mourinho slide to his knees, and Ronaldo was showered with cheers.
Real Madrid picked up the three points they sought and put on an emphatic display of resolve that fans will not soon forget.