Manchester City's Ferran Torres, centre, is congratulated by teammate's Raheem Sterling, left, and Phil Foden, right, after scoring his team's first goal during the Champions League Group C soccer match between Marseille and Manchester City at Stade Velodrome in Marseille, France, Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020. (Guillaume Horcajuelo/Pool via AP)

Champions League: Madrid in trouble despite late fightback

Champions League: Madrid in trouble despite late fightback

With one point from its opening two games, Real Madrid is facing another fight to preserve its proud record of qualifying for the knockout stage in all of its seasons in the Champions League.

It could have been a whole lot worse for the record 13-time European champions on Tuesday, though.

Heading into the 87th minute against Borussia Mönchengladbach, Madrid was losing 2-0 and on course for four straight losses in the Champions League for the first time.

However, goals by Karim Benzema and then Casemiro — in the third minute of stoppage time — rescued a 2-2 draw for the Spanish champions, who opened with a 3-2 loss at home to Shakhtar Donetsk last week.

Next up for Madrid is a double-header against Inter Milan, the team which was supposed to be its toughest rival in Group B but which is also still without a win. A 0-0 draw at Shakhtar, during which Inter hit the crossbar twice, came a week after a 2-2 draw with Mönchengladbach.

Madrid is in bigger trouble, though, in its 25th campaign in the Champions League, in which the team has never been eliminated in the group stage.

Last season, Zinedine Zidane’s side started in almost identical fashion, losing its opener — 3-0 to Paris Saint-Germain — and then drawing 2-2 in its second match against Club Brugge. The overall standard of its group is tougher this time round.

“This is going to be a difficult year for everyone,” Zidane said.

Defending champion Bayern Munich is having no such trouble, with a 2-1 victory at Lokomotiv Moscow extending its winning run in the Champions League to 13 games.

Also on a maximum of six points is Manchester City after a 3-0 win at Marseille, as the English team continues its latest bid to become European champion for the first time.

Liverpool is the other team to have won both of its games so far, with Diogo Jota scoring the club’s 10,000th goal of its 128-year history to set up a 2-0 home win over FC Midtjylland.

KIMMICH TO RESCUE

Bayern went unpunished for a sloppy performance in Moscow as Joshua Kimmich prolonged the German team’s winning streak in the competition with a brilliantly taken 79th-minute goal.

Leon Goretzka put Bayern ahead in the 13th, but the champions gave up plenty of chances before Anton Miranchuk finally took one in the 70th.

Bayern opened with a 4-0 win over Atletico Madrid, which got its Group A campaign back on track by rallying to beat Salzburg 3-2.

Joao Félix scored twice, including the winner in the 85th minute. Marcos Llorente opened the scoring for Atlético before Salzburg went ahead through goals by Dominik Szoboszlai and Mergim Berisha either side of halftime.

SLICK CITY

Playing without a striker didn’t stop Man City racking up the goals against Marseille.

Sergio Aguero is back on the sidelines with a hamstring injury and with Gabriel Jesus also injured, City started at the Stade Velodrome with Ferran Torres then Raheem Sterling filling in as the makeshift centre forward.

Both of them scored, either side of a goal by Ilkay Gundogan as City backed up its 3-1 win over Porto last week.

Porto rebounded from that loss by beating Olympiakos 2-0 thanks to goals by Fábio Vieira and Sérgio Oliveira. It was the 100th victory for Porto in the European Cup and Champions League.

Olympiakos opened with a 1-0 win over Marseille.

FABINHO INJURY

Liverpool’s defensive woes deepened as Fabinho was forced off with a hamstring injury during the first half of the win over Midtjylland.

The Brazil midfielder has been filling in at centre back for Virgil van Dijk, who is likely out for many months after damaging cruciate knee ligaments. With Joel Matip currently struggling for fitness, Liverpool has just one fit senior centre half in Joe Gomez.

A 19-year-old, Rhys Williams, replaced Fabinho and Liverpool was shaky at times against the competition newcomers from Denmark.

However, Jota scored in the 55th for a historic goal for Liverpool and substitute Mohamed Salah converted a stoppage-time penalty.

Duván Zapata scored twice in six minutes as Atalanta rallied for a point against Ajax, who went 2-0 ahead thanks to Dušan Tadic’s penalty and a scruffy goal from Lassina Traoré.

Atalanta is two points behind Liverpool in second place.

___

More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

___

Steve Douglas is at https://twitter.com/sdouglas80

Steve Douglas, The Associated Press

soccer

Just Posted

Mayor Rick Bonnett. (Screenshot)
WATCH: Ponoka council calls on gov’t to support rural small businesses

Ponoka council is calling on the provincial government to increase funding to… Continue reading

Pumpjacks draw oil out of the ground near Olds, Alta., Thursday, July 16, 2020. A new report suggests the economic impact of the pandemic led to a massive increase in federal aid to Canada's oil patch. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Alberta economy ‘still reeling,’ says ATB Financial

Alberta’s economy is still feeling the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and… Continue reading

Ella Stoner, five, is ready to cut off her hair and donate it to A Child’s Voice Foundation. (Photo by Lauren Stoner Photography)
Central Alberta girl to donate her ‘princess hair’ to A Child’s Voice Foundation

A five-year-old girl from Rimbey has never had a haircut before. Now,… Continue reading

Asymptomatic testing will now be available for "priority groups" who are most likely to spread the COVID-19 virus to vulnerable or at-risk populations. File photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS
Alberta adds 1,195 new COVID-19 cases Saturday

Red Deer has dropped to 760 active cases

The Minnesota Wild celebrate their overtime victory over the Vegas Golden Knights in Game 1 of a first-round NHL hockey playoff series Sunday, May 16, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/David Becker)
Eriksson Ek’s OT goal lifts Wild past Vegas 1-0

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Joel Eriksson Ek’s goal at 3:20 of overtime… Continue reading

Toronto Blue Jays' Lourdes Gurriel Jr., celebrates after hitting a double against the Philadelphia Phillies during the third inning of a baseball game Sunday, May 16, 2021, in Dunedin, Fla. (AP Photo/Mike Carlson)
Girardi, Segura have confrontation as Phils lose to Jays

Blue Jays 10 Phillies 8 DUNEDIN, Fla. (AP) — The injury-depleted Philadelphia… Continue reading

New York Islanders' Kyle Palmieri (21) returns to the bench after scoring during the first period in Game 1 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup first-round playoff series against the Pittsburgh Penguins in Pittsburgh, Sunday, May 16, 2021. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
Palmieri’s OT winner lifts Isles by Penguins 4-3 in Game 1

PITTSBURGH (AP) — The New York Islanders brought Kyle Palmieri home at… Continue reading

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, speaks during a Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions hearing to examine an update from Federal officials on efforts to combat COVID-19, Tuesday, May 11, 2021 on Capitol Hill in Washington. (Jim Lo Scalzo/Pool via AP)
Fauci says pandemic exposed ‘undeniable effects of racism’

ATLANTA (AP) — The immunologist who leads the COVID-19 response in the… Continue reading

Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin, vice-president of logistics and operations at the Public Health Agency of Canada, participates in a news conference on the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa, on Friday, Jan. 15, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Feds face growing calls for answers after general overseeing vaccine effort sidelined

OTTAWA — The federal Liberal government is facing growing calls for answers… Continue reading

Conservative MP Ron Liepert rises during Question Period on Parliament Hill, Friday, March 10, 2017 in Ottawa. Ron Liepert says these days, the phone calls and emails from people wanting to talk about his party's climate plan have slowed. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Alberta MP pitches Conservative carbon price with a 24-pack of Pilsner

OTTAWA — Ron Liepert says these days, the phone calls and emails… Continue reading

A sign marks Stairs Place in the Hydrostone district in the North end of Halifax on Thursday, May 13, 2021. The street was named for William Grant Stairs, a Canadian explorer from Halifax who helped lead some of the most controversial expeditions through the African continent. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
Where the streets have explorers’ names, some Halifax residents call for change

HALIFAX — When builders created Halifax’s distinctive Hydrostone neighbourhood more than a… Continue reading

Riley Oldford, 16, suffers from cerebral palsy. He was the first youth in the Northwest Territories to get a COVID-19 vaccine. Here he receives the needle from nurse practitioner Janie Neudorf in Yellowknife on Thursday May 6, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Bill Braden
People with disabilities even more alone during pandemic: cerebral palsy spokeswoman

YELLOWKNIFE — Riley Oldford is usually out playing sledge hockey or hanging… Continue reading

Most Read