How is it already time for Champions League football?! I’m already scared about how fast the season seems to have crept up and moved along. I only just realized the other day that it’s September already. What the hell?!
What did the boys’ social media look like prior to the match? #ToniLive discovered gifs!
Pre-Match Social Media:
Cris is trying to kill me, isn’t he? Or is it that absence makes the heart grow fonder? Because DAAAAYYYYUUMMMMM!
Real Madrid: Kiko Casilla; Sergio Ramos, Marcelo, Raphael Varane, Dani Carvajal; Casemiro, Luka Modric, Toni Kroos; Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema, Cristiano Ronaldo
Sporting CP: Rui Patricio; Joao Pereira, Sebastian Coates, Ruben Semedo, Marvin Zeegelaar; William Carvalho, Adrien Silva; Gelson Martins, Bruno Cesar, Alan Ruiz; Bas Dost
The return of the “fully fit” BBC!
The first 10 minutes, with the exception of a shot just past the post by Sporting in the 2nd minute, we started pretty well. But it didn’t really last. Sporting were defending really well and we just weren’t playing like we were taking them seriously.
I’m also not sure we expected the match to be as physical as it was. Well, no one but Casemiro. There were a couple of challenges that he went into and was lucky not to emerge with a card.
The first booking of the match came in the 39th minute when Silva went in hard on Casemiro (how ironic).
In the 43rd minute, Bale was injured after a tackle by Coates. The Sporting defender got ball, but his trailing like slammed into Bale’s lower back/hip. Did anyone else’s commentators act like Bale was milking it? I was really very upset about it.
The Managing Madrid guys once again summing it up the best.
Bale was able to walk off the pitch and summoned back on just before the half ended but still didn’t look 100 percent.
After 1 minute of extra time, the half ended 0-0 with our boys looking pretty terrible.
Sporting’s speed and determination from the 1st half got them a quick goal in the second half.
In the 47th minute, Cesar curled a really good shot above Casilla. The team NEEDED to respond.
Sporting continued to threaten. As well as they were playing, we were actually playing like shit. It was a perfect example of the things I’ve been unable to put words to when trying to explain why the team worries me, even in the games we win.
In the 57th minute Carvalho received a yellow card. And Zegelaar picked one up in the 65th minute.
We needed subs. I was calling for a replacement for Casemiro, but Zizou felt differently. In the 68th minute we got Vazquez (who I was stoked to see) and Morata for Bale and Benzema. To be fair, Benzema was looking unfit and Bale still looked a little like he was struggling from that knock in the first half.
In the 71st minute, Sporting made their first change with Markovic replacing Martins.
In the 74th minute, Elias replaced Silva for Sporting. And just a minute later, Toni picked up a yellow card for running his mouth. I was so very unsurprised. I love it when he gets mouthy. I don’t even know why.
Don’t worry, I know that will come back to bite me (us? him?) someday.
In the 78th minute, James replaced Kroos and it seemed that was the final spark that we needed to light the fire. Vazquez and Morata had already changed the game, but the addition of James gave us more fuel.
We looked much better, though we still couldn’t find our goal.
In the 89th minute, we were awarded a free kick in a dangerous area. I was hoping to see James standing over it, but Crispy stepped up. I let out a groan, but he said “Girl, shut your mouth!”
He put in a gorgeous freekick that Patricio got a hand to but just couldn’t keep out.
In the 92nd minute Joel Campbell replaced Ruiz for Sporting and I was starting to think we were going to have to settle for a draw.
But with just seconds to go, James put a cross in and Morata got a beautiful head to it!
If our boys do nothing else, they always believe! I’d be lying if I said I didn’t love that but sometimes it’s not enough. We need to come out with more intensity. It’s worrying. A team like Atleti, Barca, Bayern, or even Man City are going to hurt us if we continue to play like that.
At the whistle, it was Real Madrid 2 – 1 Sporting CP
Zidane: “We didn’t ever throw the towel in”
by Javier Garcia“We put in a tremendous effort and we believed right until the end”, added the Real Madrid coach
After having witnessed another fine European comeback, Zinedine Zidane spoke to the media to offer his assessment of the win against Sporting CP in his side’s Champions League opener: “I’m happy that we got the three points. They made things difficult for us, but we didn’t give up. The important thing was to put points on the board. With the substitutions, I was looking for them to give us something else and they did that. I’m pleased with James, Lucas and Morata”.
“In the first 80 minutes we played well too. We faced a team that fought hard, particularly in the first half. After the first goal we played better, we were more dominant and got into good positions in attack. When you play in the opposition’s half it’s different”.
“It wasn’t an unexpected win. I don’t know whether we deserved it or not, but what’s for sure is that we kept believing right until the end. You have to keep going until the final minute, we’re a united group and we’re very focused, at any given time we can make the difference. We saw that tonight, although we’re aware that the performance wasn’t a perfect one”.
A tough game
“We’ll analyse the aspects that I didn’t like. What I do know is that we can perform better than we did. But, as I said, we came up against a team that played their game and made it difficult for us. This is the Champions League and nothing is easy in football. There are no easy games”.
“I thought that he did well, despite not having played all that much. It was to be expected that he started the game a bit slowly, because he hasn’t played for a long time. We’re only at the start of the season and we can improve. I see the whole squad as being focused, committed and they’re all working hard. All of the players know that they can bring something to the team”.
“We’re Real Madrid and we know that every game will be tough and that our opponents will make it hard for us. We didn’t ever thrown the towel in and that’s important. The effort put in was tremendous. When you win a game in this manner it means a lot to the squad. That’s what I take away with me and I go home with a smile on my face and feeling very relaxed. We can’t win all of our games 5-0. Today we had to dig in, but we got the three points”.
“You also ask your strikers to do is to get you goals. I’m happy with his overall performance today. He didn’t start and when he came on he did a good job. Today he made the difference, on another day it’ll be Karim or another player. I’ve got a lot of players who are capable of making the difference. I’m lucky enough to have a strong squad”.
“Right now he’s not a starter but he can become one, regardless of what he did in the 15 minutes. Today he made a difference, but I assess him on the work he does day in, day out. I’m pleased with his display. We know the sort of player that he is and he’ll get given playing time”.
Real Madrid and comebacks
“Real Madrid’s history is obvious to everyone. The fans that come to the ground like this sort of thing. Today it was tough but the fans enjoyed themselves. This is Real Madrid, we know that, at any given time, we can make the difference”.
“I wasn’t surprised by them at all. They’re very difficult opponents and they showed that. I don’t know whether it’s a fair result, I’m not going to comment on that. We didn’t throw the towel in, we showed character, we put in a tremendous effort and we got our reward”.
The forward marked his 350th appearance for the Whites with a sublime free-kick.
Cristiano Ronaldo played his part in Real Madrid’s comeback victory over Sporting CP with a spectacular free-kick effort in his 350th competitive outing for the club and at the final whistle the forward offered the following assessment of the game: “We were a bit flat at the start, but such is football and such is Real Madrid and the comebacks are part of this mythical stadium”.
“It was an important goal just as the game was about to finish. I wasn’t surprised by the Sporting performance, they wanted to put on a good display and make life difficult for us. I hope to always be able to offer something at Real Madrid with good performances and goals. I always want to help out”.
Reaction to his goal
“It was against the team where I learned my trade, the club has a place in my
heart and I have a lot of respect for them, that’s why I couldn’t celebrate it”.
Admiration for Raúl
“Raúl is a friend, he was with us the other day and it’s a privilege to listen to him, I admire him both as a person and a player”.
“This game serves as a warning that we can’t be starting games so poorly, because teams will sweep the floor with us and we don’t want that. We want to finish top of the group and win”.
Cristiano Ronaldo made his 350th appearance in his eighth season in the first team, during which he has been involved in 259 wins and scored 367 goals. The Portuguese forward made his Real Madrid bow on 29 August 2009 in the La Liga opener against Deportivo (a game which ended in a 3-2 win for the Whites).
His 350 appearances have come across the following six competitions: La Liga (237), the Champions League (76), the Copa del Rey (28) the Spanish Super Cup (6), the Club World Cup (2) and the UEFA Super Cup (1). His highest number of appearances came in the 2011-12 and 2012-13 seasons. In his eight seasons at the club, Ronaldo was won two Champions League trophies, one Club World Cup, two UEFA Super Cups, one La Liga crown, two Copa del Reys and a Spanish Super Cup.
“This is Real Madrid, we never give up”, stated Casemiro.
Álvaro Morata capped off the comeback against Sporting CP with his goal in extra time. The Forward said: “It was a game that we didn’t start well, but this is Real Madrid and these things happen at this club and this stadium. We are going home very happy. We keep the faith and we have shown that until the final whistle the game is still there to be won”.
“Sometimes football isn’t fair, I’m not sure if the result was fair but we won, and that was fundamental. We have to aim to top the group and we will fight in order to do so”.
“I knew that James was going to place it there; I headed it with everything I had and it went in. My dream is to triumph here and I’m working hard. I want to continue on in this way and provide goals. A goal like that at home in the Champions League, that was my dream since I was little”.
“I keep getting better and better at understanding my teammates. Having a group such as this is key if we want to win titles at the end of the season. We are a team and we have to be ready to play against anyone. This is the best club in th world and we have some phenomenal players who have to play”.
“He told us that it is not always possible to win on the comeback, that we have to be focussed and fight to the death like we did today”.
Casemiro: “Real Madrid never give up”
“We knew that this would be a difficult game but we were able to get three really important points against a strong team to make a good start. You have to credit all the players because they never surrendered. This is what Real Madrid is all about, we never give up”.
“I think we have the best squad, because when we make changes we play as well if not better, and those who come on are always looking to help Real Madrid”.
Casilla: “It has been a thrilling night of Champions League football”
“It has been a night of Champions League football, in the Bernabéu, an it was thrilling. It seemed like a quarter-final or semi-final, with the fans providing such an intense atmosphere. It was the first game and we put to the test, but we didn’t lose hope and were able to get the win”.
“Their goal hurt us. They gathered themselves well. However, in the end thanks to their fatigue and our quality, Cristiano was able to get a goal. After that we were able to win the game thanks to the strength of our comeback and Morata’s goal”.
Comments to Morata
“i told him that he deserved it for all the hard work he puts in each day and the fight he shows in each game. Now we have to look at what we did badly and correct it. At the start of this competition the important thing is getting the win and that is what we did”.
Lucas: “We worked hard”
“Real Madrid are known for never giving in, for fighting till the last, and that is how we were able to win today. In the Champions League there are no easy games and we were in a tough one tonight, They went ahead 0-1, and in the end we did very well to come out of the game on top”.
“When the coach picks me I try to give my all and help the team to get the win. I think that both Morata, James and myself had to come into the game strong in order to change it, and we did that well”.
“Sporting were a difficult opponent in a tough competition, so we have to be happy with the win. All of the games in the Bernabéu are special, but perhaps even more so in the Champions League, and tonight we were fired up from the word go”.
Cristiano, 350 games
“Cristiano shows every day that he is the best in the world. Today he showed it by making himself count in the dying minutes and I hope he plays many more games here with us”.
Varane: “We fight until the last”
“Games don’t always go our way, but you have to fight and that is what we did. We are happy with this win. We had to be patient against a good team who are solid at the back. Perhaps we could have played better but it is still the start of the season. We keep getting good results and we are remaining calm”.
“They played a fast-paced game and we had to be focussed, they only made a few big moves, but they were dangerous ones. We did well apart from conceding. They did well to get the ball back. There are no easy games. We always have to be at our best because these teams come here fired up and they can surprise us”.
350 games for Cristiano
“He is a magnificent player and a great guy. We are very happy to have him here. We hope he plays many more games and keeps on scoring”.
Post-Match Social Media:
Our next match is away on Sunday against Espanyol.
¡Hala Madrid y Nada Mas!