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18.09.2012 » Real Madrid 3-2 Manchester City. Ronaldo's winner decides epic game

Cristiano Ronaldo happy celebration in Real Madrid 3-2 win against Manchester City, in a Santiago Bernabéu exploding of joy, in a Champions League night in 2012-2013

The Santiago Bernabéu got ready for the UEFA Champions League debut and on this first clash of the season between Real Madrid and Manchester City, we couldn't have asked for a better show. The Merengues came on top with a 3-2 win and it was Cristiano Ronaldo who delivered the victory to his side once more, with a stunning goal near the 90th minute of the game.

Real Madrid and Manchester City clashed this Tuesday night at the Santiago Bernabéu, in what has surely been the most anticipated match from this season's Champions League debut. The two teams didn't defraud expectations and presented the crowd with a stunning and exciting game, where Real Madrid proved to be stronger at the end, as they found a way to turn things around and beat Manchester City by 3-2. Cristiano Ronaldo scored his 5th goal of the season, as he got the decisive late goal in the Bernabéu, ensuring that the Merengues would start this Champions League campaign with 3 points in their pocket. The Citizens were in the lead twice in the game, but Marcelo and Benzema's goals kept the fate of the game open and ended up allowing the late "remontada" close to the final whistle. Not only the final result has been positive, but surely the Madridismo will head home with enough reasons to be happy about all Real Madrid players attitude on the pitch, who fought for every loose ball with heart and an endless belief. Let's hope they can extend this mentality to the upcoming games in La Liga...

Cristiano Ronaldo game photos in Real Madrid vs Manchester City
Real Madrid 3-2 Manchester City goals and highlights:

Cristiano Ronaldo beating Vincent Kompany with a short dribble and striking the ball, in Real Madrid vs Manchester City, at the UCL 2012-2013

The game started with Real Madrid clearly decided in showing a different attitude and redeem themselves from the last poor performances and results in the Spanish League. Ronaldo got close to score in two occasions still before the first quart of an hour, but in both times the English goalkeeper Joe Hart blocked the shots brilliantly. The Merengues dominated most of the game during the first 45 minutes, while Manchester City limited themselves to threaten through a few counter-attacks. However, either because of bad luck or simply because of bad aiming, Real Madrid failed to get that precious lead and both sides headed to the locker rooms at half-time with a goalless tie.

The second half had reserved for us one of the most entertaining and exciting 45 minutes that we'll probably have the chance to watch this season. It all started when Manchester City decided to open hostilities and grabbed the lead, around the 68th minute. The former Barcelona midfielder, Yaya Touré, who had been single-handedly dominating the midfield like a true power of nature, had another stunning run that started right from the outside his own area, left several Real Madrid players behind him in the process and assisted Edin Dzeko on the left, for a 1-on-1 chance against Iker Casillas. The Bosnian forward seems to have tricked the Spanish goalkeeper with his eyes and body stance, as he forced Casillas to go down to the left, while his shot slowly went in to the right side. The Bernabéu got the first shock of the night and there was some sort of an unfaireness feeling in the air, as Real Madrid kept fighting with everything they had and were still the side that had created more dangerous plays so far.

Cristiano Ronaldo madness after scoring the winner in Real Madrid 3-2- Manchester City, in 2012-2013

The Merengues players showed their heart and reacted fiercely to the disadvantage in the scoreline. It took them no more than 8 minutes to get the equalizer and it came from the Brazilian left-back feet, Marcelo, who had been trying his long range shot for a couple of times, just a few minutes before. This time, Marcelo cutted inside, got a bit nearer Joe Hart's goal, and curled a right foot strike that still got slightly deflected before hitting the target. Manchester City's goalkeeper didn't have much to do in that situation and the Bernabéu exploded for the first time that night, celebrating a more than deserved equalizer.

But like any thriller we can watch in cinema, this Tuesday night at the Bernabéu still had a few more surprising and exciting chapters left to be played... With 86 minutes on the clock, Manchester City managed to restore the lead and make it 1-2, leading to more frustration and that unfairness feeling that insisted in hovering in the air. It also didn't help much to know that the goal arrived from Real Madrid's "Achilles heel", as Iker Casillas conceded another goal from a set-pieces play. Aleksandar Kolarov took a long and curled free-kick from the right attacking side, aiming for the far post and a potential deflection that ended up by never taking place and sent the ball straight in Real Madrid's goal line, with Iker Casillas reacting a bit too late to the ball's trajectory. With 5 minutes left for the final whistle, this has been a blow that surely few thought to still be possible to recover from.

Cristiano Ronaldo and Real Madrid players celebrating a goal against Manchester City in the Santiago Bernabéu, in 2012-2013

There's no other club in the World with the history and prestige that Real Madrid holds, especially with a competition such as the UEFA Champions League. The 9-times European champions didn't throw the towel despite all the adversity and unfair outcome in the game and showed to all the Madridismo that there's still a lot of heart, honor and belief in this team. The endless runs chasing lost balls, the intense pressure throughout most of the game and the strong desire to redeem themselves for the bad performances over the last weeks, finally got rewarded in the final minutes of the game.

Just one minute after City had taken the lead and when the game clock was ticking the 87th minute, Karim Benzema stepped up like everyone expects him to do every once and a while, and tied the match with a brilliant finish. The Frenchman started the game on the bench, but came in with the right attitude and managed to have that positive impact on the game that José Mourinho was certainly waiting from him. It all started in another Angel Di María dazzling run in the center of the field, who then spotted Benzema with some space to receive the ball a few meters ahead, but with his back turned to Joe Hart. The French forward controlled the ball, turned to his right and striked the ball with class and straight to Joe Hart's left side, leaving him with absolutely no chance to stop it. Second explosion of the night in the Bernabéu and there was still something special reserved for the last minutes of the game.

Cristiano Ronaldo weird body stance, in a shot he took in Real Madrid vs Manchester City, for the UEFA Champions League, in 2012-2013

With a Manchester City side still a bit astonished with the atmosphere in the Bernabéu, as well as with the powerful reaction from the Merengues players, this clash had its own fairy tale ending about to happen, near the 90th minute of the game. Who else but Cristiano Ronaldo to step up and apply the final blow to his former club's arch-rival. The Portuguese forward dribbled Zabaleta on the left with ease, cutted inside and striked one of those deep shots, like very few others in the game can do. Vincent Kompany got afraid of blocking it with his head, ducked a bit and apparently tricked Joe Hart, who finally lost this private duel against Cristiano Ronaldo, after having denied the goal to the Portuguese forward for coutless times in the game. Complete madness in the Bernabéu, with Cristiano Ronaldo returning to his "happy" celebrations and José Mourinho exploding all his joy and rage by sliding into the pitch on his knees. An epic night in Madrid, with a vintage "remontada" showing that the sky is the limit for this Real Madrid side, as long as everyone comes with the right attitude onto the pitch.

Cristiano Ronaldo sliding knees goal celebration, in Real Madrid 3-2 Manchester City, at the UEFA Champions League 2012-2013 campaign

Real Madrid line-up vs Manchester City:

Goalkeeper: Iker Casillas
Defenders: Marcelo, Pepe, Varane, Arbeloa
Midfielders: Xabi Alonso, Essien, Khedira
Attackers: Di María, Cristiano Ronaldo and Higuaín

Match stats provided by
Real Madrid
Manchester City
Shots on goal
Corner kicks
Fouls commited
Yellow cards
Red cards
Ball possession

Cristiano Ronaldo's next game for Real Madrid will be against Rayo Vallecano, next Sunday (23-09-2012). In the meanwhile, you can watch Chelsea vs Juventus, Barcelona vs Spartak Moscow, Manchester United vs Galatasaray and Bayern Munich vs Valencia, all matches provided from our football live streams section and part of our coverage of the UEFA Champions League.

Real Madrid next game:
Rayo Vallecano vs Real Madrid
kick-off time (23-09-2012):

Jakarta (Indonesia) | GMT+8: 03:30
(Madrid) | GMT+2: 21:30
Portugal and England (Lisbon/London) | GMT+1: 20:30
Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) | GMT-1: 18:30
New York (United States) | GMT-4: 15:30
Los Angeles (United States) | GMT-7: 12:30
Beijing (China) | GMT-7: 12:30

Sources: /

Cristiano Ronaldo running in the Santiago Bernabéu to go meet the fans and celebrate the late winning goal, in Real Madrid 3-2 Manchester City, in 2012-2013

Michael Essien in Real Madrid, in 2012-2013

Michael Essien's debut playing for Real Madrid against Manchester City, for the UEFA Champions League, in 2012-2013

Michael Essien between three Manchester City players, Maicon, Javi Garcia and Samir Nasri, in 2012-2013

Marcelo right-foot goal, in Real Madrid 3-2 Manchester City, for the UEFA Champions League 2012-2013

Cristiano Ronaldo winning goal in Real Madrid 3-2 Manchester City, for the UEFA Champions League 2012-2013

Cristiano Ronaldo raising his two hands in the air, to celebrate Real Madrid winning goal against Manchester City, in the UEFA Champions League 2012-2013

Marcelo in action, in Real Madrid 3-2 Manchester City, at the UEFA Champions League 2012-2013

Marcelo holding Ronaldo's head, after he scored the winning goal in Real Madrid 3-2 Manchester City, in the UEFA Champions League 2012-2013

José Mourinho trademark goal celebrations in Real Madrid 3-2 Manchester City, for the UEFA Champions League 2012-2013

José Mourinho sliding knee goal celebration, showing all his joy and rage after Ronaldo's late winning goal, in Real Madrid vs Manchester City, at the UCL 2012-2013

José Mourinho on his knees, celebrating Ronaldo's goal in Real Madrid 3-2 Manchester City, for the UEFA Champions League in 2012-2013

José Mourinho and Roberto Mancini greeting each other in Real Madrid vs Manchester City, for the UEFA Champions League in 2012-2013

Cristiano Ronaldo closing his fist to celebrate Real Madrid victory over Manchester City, at the UEFA Champions League 2012-2013

Cristiano Ronaldo and Marcelo running towards the Santiago Bernabéu crowd and fans, to celebrate a goal in Real Madrid 3-2 Manchester City, in 2012-2013

Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Barry, in Real Madrid vs Manchester City, in 2012-2013

Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema showing their affection for each other as Real Madrid teammates, after beating Manchester City in 2012-2013

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