Real Madrid get back on track


MADRID: Real Madrid came from a goal down to claim a precious 2-1 victory at home to Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday and revive their Champions League campaign. 

Jan Koller swept the German side into the lead on 30 minutes but Raul levelled the scores with a bizarre goal two minutes before the break and Ronaldo clinched victory on 56 minutes with his first Champions League goal for Real. 

With four points from three second phase games Real, the reigning European champions, climb to second place in Group C, five points behind leaders AC Milan. 

They still have a lot of work to do to make the quarter-finals, with Dortmund breathing down their necks on three points, but they will feel a lot more confident after recovering at least some of their customary European poise. 

DEADLY TOUCH: Real Madrid' Brazilian Ronaldo (centre) scores the second goal against Borussia Dormund during their Champions League match on Wednesday. Real won 2-1.-AFPpic

Vicente del Bosque's side went into Wednesday's game in desperate need of the win after taking just a point from two games before the turn of the year. 

Predictably enough, they tore at their opponents from the off, with Luis Figo causing problems down the right and Zinedine Zidane forcing a good save from Jens Lehmann on five minutes. 

Dortmund kept virtually their entire team behind the ball in the opening 20 minutes, only rarely venturing forward on the counter-attack. 

With 16 minutes gone Raul worked his way into space in the area for the first time but once again Lehmann was alert to the danger. 

Dortmund did have one attack early on, Ewerthon blasting wide after Francisco Pavon had half-cleared a cross into the area, but their goal still came as something of a surprise. 

Tomas Rosicky claimed the ball in midfield and poked forward towards Koller. The Czech's first touch took the ball past Pavon and the giant striker sent a stinging shot past Iker Casillas. 

Raul had a couple of half chances cleared as Real pressed forward and Figo held off his marker on the edge of the box and smacked a shot against the bar to increase the pressure. 

Ronaldo then forced another save from Lehmann with a similar effort before Raul conjured an equalising goal out of nothing. 

With his back to goal a few metres out, the Spanish international striker shielded the ball from two defenders before falling to the ground. 

That should have meant a simple clearance for Dortmund but before the defenders could react Raul poked a shot through Lehmann's legs for the equaliser. 

Dortmund came out with more attacking purpose at the start of the second half and Ewerthon raced through the Real defence only to see his shot saved by the feet of the Real keeper. 

Real reacted positively to that let off, taking the lead 11 minutes after the break when Zidane broke down the left and crossed for Ronaldo. Lehmann got both hands to the Brazilian striker's snap shot but could not prevent it crossing the line. 

Real pushed forward in search of a clinching third goal but Lehmann twice kept out efforts from Raul, while Guti and Claude Makelele both saw shots sail wide. 

Dortmund gained the edge again in the closing 10 minutes but they struggled to create clear chances and by the end were reduced to hopeful punts forward that Casillas was able to clear with ease. – Reuters 

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