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Legia Warsaw 3-3 Real Madrid: Report

Los Merengues rescue a point late on

Real Madrid forfeited a two-goal lead before then rescuing a point away at Legia Warsaw to produce another six goal special between the sides.

Real had met expectations in the reverse fixture on match day three of Group F, with a dominant 5-1 victory at the Santiago Bernabeu.

But Wednesday’s fixture proved how competitive the Champions League really is, despite Real missing Captain Sergio Ramos, Luka Modric, Marcelo and Casemiro. Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema had given the visitors the advantage.

Vadis Odjidja reduced the arrears five minutes before the interval, and by the hour mark, Miroslav Radovic had levelled the score.

From that point it seemed as though Legia would use the momentum to steal arguably the greatest victory in their history.

Mateo Kovacic smashed in the equaliser minutes later, but Real Madrid are still winless in their last four away matches in the Champions League.

But it seemed like they were putting a stop to that record early on. Ronaldo flicked on Fabio Coentrao’s cross to Bale, who volleyed first time from distance but still left Arkadiusz Malarz with no chance of saving. The goal was recorded at 57 seconds, Real Madrid’s fastest ever Champions League goal.

After that the game settled, with both sides enjoying chances. However, it seemed that Real had almost certainly put the game to bed when Karim Benzema doubled the lead.

Bale turned into provider, and was found by a sumptuous pass from Kovacic between the centre-back and full back, and the Welshman laid the ball on a plate for Benzema to cooly finish in the bottom right.

Then, just before halftime, Legia took advantage of some slack defending from Real. Kovacic and Varane could be accused of making things too easy for Odjidja, who had space on the edge of the area to dribble in to, before unleashing a powerful effort into the top left. Navas stood no chance.

It was great timing from Legia’s perspective, and in to the second half, they came out with renewed confidence. Just before the hour mark, Miroslav Radovic was afforded space to turn and run into, and his fizzed an effort at goal, which Navas should have done better with. Legia were level.

And the hosts took the lead with seven minutes remaining when Odjidja exploited the left as Legia hit Real on the counter attack. The midfielder found Aleksander Prijovic who then laid the ball off on the edge of the box for Thibault Moulin who bent a precise effort towards Keylor Navas’ left-hand post. The ball struck the inside of the woodwork past Navas’ fully stretched left arm- Legia were ahead.

Real responded superbly, and within two minutes, they had levelled. Two of their best players on the night, Dani Carvajal and Kovacic combined to spare Real’s blushes. Carvajal made yet another marauding run down the right, and it looked like the move was over when he turned into traffic, but showed great vision when he back-heeled to Kovacic. The Croatian fired into the bottom left of Malarz’s goal.

There were several absences from the squad tonight, but Real should have had enough to secure all three points. They now trail Dortmund by two points heading into the final two games of the group stage- though they will face Dortmund at the Bernabeu in the final round of games.

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