Monday 19 February 2018

Madrid late show stuns Sporting

Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo. Photo: Susana Vera/Reuters
Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo. Photo: Susana Vera/Reuters newdesk

Cristiano Ronaldo said he wouldn't celebrate and he kept his word but that will serve as little consolation to Sporting Lisbon as they saw a well-earned 1-0 lead wiped clean by their former star player.

On his 350th appearance for Real Madrid, Ronaldo scored against his old side with an 89th-minute free-kick that beat a flapping Rui Patricio.

It would have been hard enough on Jorge Jesus' spirited, impressive side who had played the better football throughout, but worse was to come when substitute James Rodriguez crossed from the left in the last attack of the game and another late introduction, Alvaro Morata, rose to head home the winner.

Madrid had somehow won a game they had sleepwalked through until the last 10 minutes of frantic urgency.

Ronaldo was as mediocre as any of his team-mates against his former club but his ability to provide the goals when Madrid need them most can never been questioned and this time he had saved face as well as the points.

Elsewhere, Borussia Dortmund inflicted a 6-0 thrashing on Legia, the side who defeated Dundalk in the qualifying rounds, away from home in Group F.

Mario Götze led the Germans' rout, opening the scoring and also assisting on two goals on a miserable night for the Poles that was marred by crowd trouble, with home fans involved in fighting.

Meanwhile, Juventus were held to a 0-0 draw at home by Sevilla in their Group H encounter.

In the other game in Leicester City's group, a second-half header by Andreas Cornelius gave FC Copenhagen a 1-1 draw with Porto in Portugal.

Alan Dzagoev's superb 36th-minute strike sparked a fine comeback as CSKA Moscow grabbed a 2-2 draw with Bayer Leverkusen in their Champions League in other game in Tottenham's group.

Irish Independent

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