Cristiano Ronaldo and Alvaro Morata scored at the death to guide Real Madrid to a thrilling 2-1 win over Sporting CP in their Champions League opener on Wednesday.
• Real Madrid 2 Sporting CP 1
• Cesar puts Sporting ahead early in the second half
• Ronaldo’s free kick brings Madrid level
• Morata scores winner in stoppage time
After a deadlocked first half where neither side could find the back of the net, Sporting edged ahead just three minutes into the second half when Bruno Cesar used some poor defending to his advantage to slot the ball past Kiko Casilla.
With time running out, Ronaldo came to the rescue for Madrid as his brilliant free-kick beat Sporting goalkeeper Rui Patricio in the 89th minute.
There was more to come from the reigning Champions League winners though as Alvaro Morata headed in James Rodriguez’s cross on the last attack of the match.
Madrid were no doubt favourites coming into the match and were expected to beat Sporting with relative ease.
That didn’t turn out to be the case though as Sporting took the attack to Madrid and put them on the back foot.
With Madrid looking sluggish, especially in defence, Sporting took full advantage and had a number of attempts to score, but were unable to take advantage of any of them in the first half.
It was a different story right at the beginning of the second half as Cesar scored in the 48th minute with a left-footed shot after a defensive mix-up by Luka Modric and Sergio Ramos.
The Portuguese side kept their foot on the gas and continued to look threatening, but they wasted golden opportunities to double their lead.
This proved costly in the 89th minute as Ronaldo struck a free-kick that partially touched by Patricio before striking the post and going in.
Having been handed a lifeline thanks to Ronaldo, Madrid began to up the tempo in search of a winner, which would be provided by a pair of second-half substitutes.
Five minutes into stoppage time, the unthinkable happened as Rodriguez crossed the ball into the area, which Morata headed home from near the penalty spot to complete a sensational come-from-behind win for Los Blancos.