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September 18, 2012
• Estadio Santiago Bernabéu, Madrid
Referee: D. Skomina
• Attendance: 70381
K. Benzema 87'
Cristiano Ronaldo 90'
E. Džeko 69'
A. Kolarov 85'
Well folks, that brings a close to our LIVE! play-by-play of tonight's game and Manchester City will be kicking themselves that they let their lead slip so close to the finish, let alone going on to lose the game. That was breathtaking. Stick around on site for all the best post-match reaction from all the players and managers and thank you for joining us this evening.
Will that kick-start Real Madrid's season? I can't emphasise enough what a mesmerising game that was, perhaps the finest we may see in Europe all season involving an English side. Jose Mourinho's side looked vulnerable at the back at times, but when they get going, they're almost impossible to contain. Extraordinary.
Cristiano Ronaldo's goal at the end may have been courtesy of two errors in quick succession from Kompany and then Hart but it shouldn't take away from what a mature European performance from Roberto Mancini's side that was, but as suspected before kick-off, the hosts firepower simply proved overwhelming at times.
The game is brought to an end by the referee and what a spectacle it turned out to be. Stunning, truly stunning. So many late goals, so much action. I need a lie down. Real Madrid have won it 3-2 and that's very harsh on what was a spirited performance from Manchester City there, twice taking the lead before letting in two goals in the final three minutes of the game.
Goal C. Ronaldo
Real Madrid still pressing for another and keeping the ball well with three minutes of injury-time left to go.
GOAL!!!!! Commeth the hour, commeth the man as they say and Cristiano Ronaldo has got the goal in the final minute of normal time and it's a huge error from Joe Hart that gifts Real Madrid a dramatic lead. The forward finds room on the left of the box and hits it hard towards goal but as Kompany ducks instead of heading it away, the ball zips underneath Hart's boot and fizzes in. What a game. What a turnaround.
Yellow Card Edin Dzeko
CHANCE! Benzema drifts in off the left flank at pace and plays a dangerous ball across the box for Cristiano Ronaldo, who slots an effort between the two centre-backs but Hart palms away.
Assist Ángel Di María
Goal Karim Benzema
GOALLL!!!!! Karim Benzema breaks City hearts after turning brilliantly on the edge of the box and drilling a strike past Hart at his near post after a mazy run from Di Maria. Fantastic response and a terrific goal.
Goal Aleksandar Kolarov
GOALLLL! Manchester City take the lead again through Kolarov, who whips in a great ball from the right in a decent position and nobody gets a touch on it and it sneaks in past Casillas. Xabi Alonso may have got a small touch on that, but what a great ball in that was. They now have five minutes of normal time to hold on to their lead for a famous win.
Kolarov, who has been bright this second half, surges past Arbeloa and wins a corner after latching on to Tevez's pass but nothing comes from the resulting ball in.
Patient stuff from the hosts here as they work the ball across midfield before Modric gets a sight on goal from outside the box, but his curled strike lacks any sort of power on it and Hart gets across to collect.
Kolarov doesn't look like he's got any options from a free-kick as he stands over the ball, but a deft chip nearly plays in Dzeko, who just can't adjust his body in time with Pepe left trailing by his quick movement.
Real Madrid are all over City at the minute and Benzema has a fierce volley turned away from Hart before Xabi Alonso drives an effort from distance straight at Hart.
CHANCE! City go right up the other end and go close to putting themselves back in front after Tevez slides a ball across the box from the right and Zabaleta at the back post just fails to get there in time to prod home.
Assist Ángel Di María
GOALLLL!!!!! Marcelo equalises for Real Madrid with a magnificent curled effort from the edge of the box on his weaker right foot as he takes it round Kompany who rushes out to close him down and it looks as if it's taken a slight deflection off Javi Garcia on its way in. Great goal.
CHANCE! It could have been all over there and nobody deserves a goal tonight more than Yaya Toure as he's played in by a beautiful ball by Tevez, but with Marcelo eating up the yards, he drills his shot just past Casillas' near post on the right-hand side of the box. Close but no cigar.
Frightening tempo to this game now and it's real end-to-end stuff.
CHANCE! The game is becoming stretched now and Tevez feeds in Kolarov down the left and even though the angle is against him, he hammers a low shot which Casillas does well to get down to but spills and there's no other City players in sight to tap it home.
Yellow Card Vincent Kompany
Madrid respond well with a couple of dangerous balls into the box bit City are holding on still and defending well.
Assist Yaya Touré
Goal Edin Dzeko
I don't use this word lightly, but my word Yaya Toure is world-class. His pace when he's in full flight and moving through the gears is absolutely terrifying. He made that goal out of nothing. Superb.
GOALLL!!! Marcelo plays a terrible ball across the pitch and Yaya Toure cuts it out before spinning between three players and laying it off to Tevez, who then gives it back to the midfielder and he's away running up the pitch. Varane comes across to intercept but Toure then plays in Edin Dzeko who is in one-on-one and he slots calmly past Casillas at his near post. Game on.
CHANCE! Ozil has had an impact already as he slides the ball across the pitch to Marcelo, who sets himself before delivering a hammer of a strike at goal which flies just inches over the bar with Hart at full stretch on the dive.
Tell you what, as Nastasic deals with Cristiano Ronaldo well as he enters the box and wins the ball back, he looks some upgrade on the quite frankly rubbish Stefan Savic already.
The ball into the box is poor but Tevez has a crack on goal from way out but doesn't quite get his foot around it and it's miles over.
Good feet from Silva down the left as he beats Varane twice on the spin before forcing a rash lunge from the young defender to win a free-kick in a promising position high up the pitch just outside the box. That's his last action tonight too as he walks off the pitch to widespread applause from the home crowd for his exploits with the national team. Edin Dzeko on in his place.
Dominant little spell from the hosts now as they lay siege to the City goal with a series of balls into the box but as Marceloa strides forward with the ball, thirty yards from goal, he unleashes a fierce drive which whistles inches past Hart's post.
Sloppy pass from Javi Garcia puts Clichy under pressure, but the French left-back gets in a fabulous tackle on Higuain to force a corner.
There's simply not enough movement from City on the rare occasions when they do have the ball and Tevez is dropping deeper and deeper now in search of the ball as another move breaks down.
Real Madrid applying some pressure now, firstly when Higuain hunts down a poor pass back from Nastasic but Hart manages to get there just in time to punt clear. Then Marcelo whips in a marvellous low cross from the left which Clichy hoofs away. Di Maria blazes over again from outside the box shortly afterwards.
The clash of the titans on a bouncing ball sees Yaya Toure come off worse as he goes shoulder to shoulder with Essien. The on-loan Chelsea midfielder has been quietly efficient tonight.
Enough about beards, though as City keep the ball nicely and Yaya Toure has an effort from distance deflected behind for a corner.
Yellow Card Javi García
As beards go, Xabi Alonso must have one of the finest in Europe. Mellberg and Nocerino worth a shout too.
Higuain shows some excellent control to bring the ball down in the box before wriggling free of Nastasic and dinking a ball into the back post, but Marcelo's effort is wild and never threatens.
Fantastic pass from Xabi Alonso, which is raked across a full sixty yards of the pitch on the diagonal and just as it looks like Di Maria is in on goal, Kolarov gets a crucial toe onto it and Hart clears.
Oh dear, what a waste that is from Kolarov, with Yaya Toure pikcing him out on the left with a cute pass, but as the Serbian runs into the space ahead of him and with Tevez moving into the middle, a heavy touch lets him down and it goes out for a goal kick.
Di Maria dips his shoulder and beats Kolarov again before unleashing a fierce effort that curls just over the bar with Hart scrambling to get across. Decent effort, that.
And we're underway for the second half and Maicon sees an early low cross cleared by Varane.
The two sides are coming out for the second half and Cristiano Ronaldo is slapping everyone's backs and shaking hands as Real Madrid come out for the half. He clearly wants to put on a show tonight against the English club and he wasn't too bad that half if I do say so myself.
Carlos Tevez has looked isolated up front and despite his two lung-bursting runs, Yaya Toure has been starved of service in a slightly more advanced role. Still, plenty to take from that half from City, who have reduced the hosts more and more to hopeful punts from distance.
It's not as if Real Madrid haven't had their chances, though and Higuain is back to his profligate best again, just as he was against Sevilla. Maicon has really struggled at right-back too and has been beaten down the right whenever Cristiano Ronaldo or Marcelo have had the ball and Di Maria has come into it a bit more with flashes of his brilliance.
The first half is at an end and the two sides go in at the break with the scores level and Roberto Mancini can thank Joe Hart for that, after two excellent saves early on when the hosts were well on top. Yaya Toure has come into the game more and more as the half went on and when he gets through the gears, he's an absolute joy to behold.
Madird work the ball across the pitch but struggling to break City down and Di Maria has an ambitious pop on goal from well over thirty yards out that he drills well wide.
Silva releases Tevez with a hopeful looking through ball but Varane shows some excellent acceleration to get across and cover just when it looks as if it could be dangerous. Moments later, Di Maria goes on a mazy run up the other end, but Barry gets a toe on it to break the play up before he can get a shot away.
Di Maria shows a nice turn of pace and glides past Kolarov before curling a low effort past Hart's bottom right-hand post. The goalkeeper always looked like he had that one covered there.
CHANCE! That's a magnificent ball in from Di Maria, who curls in a cross from the right and Higuain really should score as he gets around behind Kompany at the back post, but on the stretch, he pokes it well over. Looked a bit of a mix-up between Hart and the Belgian defender there, with both thinking it was the other player's job to deal with it.
What a run from Yaya Toure, who drives a full fifty yards up the pitch with the ball and Real Madrid haven't got anyone who can live with him at this pace. City out-number the hosts back three here, but Toure elects to play in Silva rather than shoot for himself and when the Spaniard cuts back onto his left, his shot is closed down and blocked.
Aleksandar Kolarov is the man to come on and he's playing in front of Gael Clichy. Mancini shutting up shop already?
Looks as if Samir Nasri has pulled his hamstring and is coming off. It's pretty much the first time we've seen him all half, he's been anonymous.
Silva starting to come into it a tad more, but City don't want to commit too many numbers forward when they do have it and it's restricting their goal threat.
City break at pace and Yaya Toure is the one driving with the ball and boy can he fly, as he strips Essien somewhat embarrassingly for pace, but his through ball just fails to find Nasri and Casillas mops up. What a player Toure is. Monster.
Real Madrid just growing a little frustrated now and Essien is the latest to chance his arm from distance but it goes well over. It's not quite parking the bus, but City have been decent this past ten minutes at pressing the ball.
Maicon is beaten yet again by Cristiano Ronaldo but his cross is cleared by Kompany. Not a Gareth Bale in sight tonight either.
Cristiano Ronaldo has another crack on goal after the hosts work the ball across the pitch, but it's not the best effort and it flies well wide of Hart's near post.
Pressure growing on City here and Marcelo's low cross is cleared by City and he's the latest man to beat Maicon for pace on the outside. Not a great start from the Brazilian so far.
I haven't seen Hart have this much of the ball at his feet since England were knocked out of Euro 2012 by Italy. It's been just as one-sided here so far.
Curse of the commentator - Maicon plays the ball back to Hart and with Higuain closing down quickly, he blasts his clearances into his backside and it goes out for a goal kick.
Few robust challenges going in from City at the moment, and it's disrupting the flow of the game, which they won't mind at all after a ropey few minutes.
CHANCE! Real Madrid have to score one of these as Di Maria plays in a perfectly looped ball over the top to Higuain, but Hart makes himself big and gets a block on his lobbed shot. With no support, he plays the ball back to Ronaldo, who has an ambitious effort which is deflected into the path of Khedira, eight yards from goal unmarked, but on the stretch, he blazes it over. Hart has been exceptional so far and has kept the visitors in it.
Tevez is looking very isolated already up front and City are struggling to keep hold of the ball.
Di Maria turns Clichy inside out before working the ball onto his favoured left foot as he break into the area on the right, but his effort is weak and straight at Hart.
Nastasic gets a great header away under pressure from Cristiano Ronaldo from a corner before the ref brings play back for a City free-kick. He's done well so far, the young centre-back.
Manchester City struggling to get out of their own half at the minute and an expansive ball out to the left flank from Yaya Toure has just seen the ball turned over again just when they were looking to have settled.
Patient build-up from City is nearly rewarded as Yaya Toure looks to have threaded Silva in behind the back four, but Varane manages to just get a toe on it to poke it clear.
CHANCE! Hart makes his second key stop of the game, as he saves well at his near post from Cristiano Ronaldo again as he works half a yard of space for himself inside the box on the left, but the narrow angle probably helped the goalkeeper a tad there. Higuain should have perhaps done better with the follow-up, which just hit him on the chest before City hacked it clear.
Real Madrid look a real threat when they're running at City's back four at pace and Higuain's movement is dragging them alla round and creating space for his team-mates.
CHANCE! As Nastasic plays a ball up to Tevez, who is all alone, Pepe gets something on it and Real Madrid break through Cristiano Ronaldo, who throws in a couple of good stepovers, beating Kompany on the inside before unleashing a fierce low drive from inside the box which Hart gets down brilliantly to and turns behind for a corner. Great stop, that.
City do look solid at the moment, though with Javi Garcia and Yaya Toure sitting just in front of the back four, they're two sizeable objects to find a way through.
The hosts enjoying a good spell of possession here and Essien looks to be playing right alongside Xabi Alonso while Khedira roams and hunts the ball down.
He's had another cross cum shot just moments later after dancing past Maicon on the left with ease but if flashes across goal. He looks in the mood tonight.
First crack on goal and no prizes for guessing who it's from. Marcelo and Cristiano Ronaldo exchange passes in the middle of the pitch before the latter has a pop a full thirty yards from goal but it's weak and dribbles harmlessly wide.
And we're off, Real Madrid keeping the ball well but great early pressure from City high up the pitch already.
The two managers have shaken hands on the touchline, all forced smiles and tense body language. Moments away from kick-off now.
Interestingly, after Sevilla managed to get at and disrupt Xabi Alonso's game last week, which went a long way to helping them secure their 1-0 win, the Spaniard has both Khedira and Essien beside him tonight to offer him a bit more protection.
The players are in the tunnel now, it's almost time for that lovely song about being champions or something to come on. Not many tournaments have an anthem, do they?
Manchester City in the meantime have dropped Joleon Lescott and handed a daunting debut to new centre-back Matija Nastasic. One-time Real Madrid transfer target Maicon gets his European debut for the club and it looks as if Mancini is starting with just one up front, with Sergio Aguero and Edin Dzeko both on the bench.
Not a bad looking bench there for the hosts this evening, with Sergio Ramos and Mesut Ozil surprisingly left out after suffering from some poor early season form. On loan midfielder Michael Essien is handed his first start and Rafael Varane comes in at the back. Mourinho is ringing the changes it seems.
Real Madrid's subs bench: Adán, Ramos, Coentrão, Kaká, Benzema, Özil, Modric.
Manchester City's Subs: Pantilimon, Lescott, Zabaleta, Kolarov, Rodwell, Aguero, Dzeko.
Manchester City's starting eleven tonight looks a little something like this: Hart, Clichy, Kompany, Nastasic, Maicon, Toure Y, Nasri, Barry, Silva, Garcia, Tevez.
Time to bring you some team news - Real Madrid: Casillas,Varane, Pepe, Khedira, Cristiano Ronaldo, Marcelo, Alonso, Essien, Arbeloa, Higuaín, Di María.
Sergio Aguero was Manchester City's top goalscorer in Europe last season with five goals and Roberto Mancini has never been beyond the quarter-final stage in this competition, in what remains a major blot against his reputation.
A few facts to bring you - Real Madrid have won 40 out of their 42 home games in the Champions League. The team's nightmarish start to the new league season has already seen them fall eight points behind Barcelona despite only four games being played.
Evening folks, my name is James McManus and I will be running you through our play-by-play for tonight's big game between Real Madrid and Manchester City, or as the build-up has mainly been focused on, Jose Mourinho and Roberto Mancini. It promises to be a humdinger between the champions of Spain and England.
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