UCL Wrap: Real's Struggles Continue, No Relief For Zidane

UCL Wrap: Real's Struggles Continue, No Relief For Zidane Photo: TT
Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane gestures on the edge of the field

Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane remains bullish about his side’s chances in the UEFA Champions League despite needing two late goals to rescue a 2-2 draw on Tuesday night.

Marcus Thuram scored twice to put German club Borussia Moenchengladbach 2-0 up by the hour mark but Real Madrid hit back late thanks to goals from Karim Benzema (87’) and Casemiro (90’).

Real went down 3-2 to an under-strength Shakhtar Donetsk in their opening UEFA Champions League match in Madrid, leaving them with one point from their opening two games.

The good news for the Spaniards is Shakhtar drew 0-0 with Inter Milan in the other group game, ensuring the pool is tight, with Gladbach and Inter drawing on the opening matchday too.

But it could’ve been a lot worse for Real and Zidane if not for their two late goals.

“For me, this draw is not a relief, it’s a deserved result,” Zidane said.

“We had an opponent who had us in trouble on two or three occasions, but we didn’t panic and came back with character.

“If we continue to play like that, we’ll do great things and we’ll win matches, that’s for sure.”

Elsewhere, Liverpool eased past Danish champions FC Midtjylland 2-0 but lost another defender to injury, with Fabinho forced off in the first half.

Reds boss Jurgen Klopp said: “Fab, I don’t know. Muscle injuries are like this, you get the result tomorrow morning probably, we have to wait for that.”

Liverpool are already without Virgil van Dijk with a knee injury which has likely ended his season while Joel Matip is currently out too. Goalkeeper Alisson Becker returned from injury on the weekend.

Atalanta fought back from two goals down to claim a 2-2 draw at home to Ajax in the other group game.

In Group C, Manchester City were too good for Olympique Marseille 3-0 in France while FC Porto got past Olympiacos 2-0.

In Group D, champions Bayern Munich survived a scare with Joshua Kimmich scoring a 79th minute winner with a volley to claim a 2-1 win at Lokomotiv Moscow.

Atletico Madrid fought back from behind to edge Red Bull Salzburg 3-2 with Joao Felix netting a second-half double to secure the win.

Ben somerford
Sports Pundit staff writer @bensomerford
Australian journalist who specialises on all sports, focusing on football, tennis, basketball and racing, having written for global publications including FourFourTwo, AAP, Inside Futbol and many more....

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