Real Madrid's Champions League campaign appeared set to fall off the rails against Borussia Monchengladbach before a wild come-from-back effort rescued a point in a 2-2 draw. Karim Benzema and Casemiro scored late for Los Blancos. Two goals from Marcus Thuram gave the hosts the surprising lead, but two goals after the 87th minute gave Real a much-needed point in what was probably an unfair result in the end.
Zinedine Zidane's side dominated the chances but couldn't create enough golden ones early on, while Gladbach took advantage and looked well on their way to the victory, only to again drop points late just like in their opener against Inter Milan.
This is a result that will feel better for Real than Gladbach, and it is one that keeps things close in Group B.
Borussia M'gladbach 2, Real Madrid 2
⚽ Gladbach: Marcus Thuram (33')
⚽ Gladbach: Marcus Thuram (58')
⚽ Real Madrid: Karim Benzema (87')
⚽ Real Madrid: Casemiro (90+3')
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Slow starts continue to hurt Real
Real's recent matches have all had fast starts, but only once was it them coming out strong. Real looked sharp and scored just five minutes into El Clasico last weekend in a 3-1 win over Barcelona, yet in European competition the roles have been reversed. Real have gone down 3-0 and 2-0 in their last two UCL matches and needed dramatic second halves to get back into the games. This time around, the deficit was manageable yet required two late goals to rescue a point, and as a result his team might be in some trouble. With just one point from the first two games and two matches coming up against a hungry Inter Milan team, we could be talking about Real or Inter being eliminated before long.
Real's defense failed to react
That Real defense continued to let the team down due to poor shape and a lack of awareness. Just look at the first goal where the backline is too high, leaving a two-on-two that Gladbach make look easy:
Not to mention having to place Lucas Vazquez, a winger, at right back is concerning. But at least he was in an OK position. Ferland Mendy and Sergio Ramos were nowhere to be found, and that put them in an early hole.
Then it was Mendy again. His poor positioning gave Stefan Lainer a clear run down the right to send in a cross, but then just watch Mendy. His failure to hustle back into position leaves Thuram onside. If he makes that effort to get in line with his defense, that goal probably doesn't happen:
Gladbach getting unlucky late
Gladbach have been impressive in their first two games and scored four goals total, but they have conceded 75 percent of their goals after the 80th minute and all of them after the hour mark. But when you dig a bit deeper, it isn't that they let themselves down by poor defending. In fact, the defending has been quite good late, but some unfortunate bounces just haven't gone their way when they needed it.
Just look at Casemiro's equalizer. Good marking just unlucky in the end for the Bundesliga side.