1-0, Benzema 28'. 2-0, Benzema 53'. 2-1, Aubameyang 60'. 2-2, Reus 88'.
Real Madrid 2-2 Borussia Dortmund: Marco Reus strikes to snatch Group F top spot

Real Madrid 2-2 Borussia Dortmund: Marco Reus strikes to snatch Group F top spot

The defending champions were on course following two goals from Karim Benzema, but were denied as die Schwarzgelben fought back late on.

James Rees
Real Madrid(4-3-3) Navas; Carvajal, Varane, Ramos, Marcelo; Modrić (Kroos 63'), Casemiro, Rodríguez; Vázquez, Benzema (Morata 85'), Ronaldo.
Borussia Dortmund(4-1-4-1) Weidenfeller; Piszczek, Sokratis, Bartra, Schmelzer; Weigl; Pulisic (Mor 61'), Dembélé, Castro (Rode 80'), Schürrle (Reus 61'); Aubameyang.
REFEREESzymon Marciniak (POL). Booked: Modrić (38'), Casemiro (69'), Sokratis (71').

A late equaliser from Marco Reus sealed top spot in UEFA Champions League Group F, and a theoretically easier draw in the last 16, for Borussia Dortmund against Real Madrid.

The European Champions had looked set to pip them to pole position following Karim Benzema’s double, however Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang brought Dortmund back into the game before setting up Reus’s equaliser.

That was Dortmund’s 21st goal in the group stage, an all-time record, whilst Real also equalled their club record of 44 games unbeaten.

The battle for top spot

Dortmund went to the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium two points clear in Group F. Aside from the 2-2 draw between the two sides on matchday two, Dortmund had won their four other games, including the crazy 8-4 victory against Legia Warsaw two weeks ago, whereas Real had drawn to Legia in Warsaw three weeks earlier.

Madrid drew 1-1 with FC Barcelona in El Clasico on Saturday, thanks to a trademark Sergio Ramos last minute equaliser. Zinedine Zidane recalled James Rodríguez and Casemiro in place of Isco and Mateo Kovačić. Toni Kroos, Danilo and Álvaro Morata were all back on the bench after injury.

At around the same time Dortmund came from behind to beat Borussia Mönchengladbach 4-1. There were three changes from the side that started that game. Julian Weigl, Christian Pulisic and André Schürrle replaced Matthias Ginter, Nuri Sahin and Reus, who all dropped to the bench. Mario Götze was unavailable due to a knee injury.

Benzema makes Madrid dominance count

It would prove to be a tough test for Thomas Tuchel’s men, with the hosts completely dominating the opening charges, bar an early shot over from Schürrle. Roman Weidenfeller was kept busy in the Dortmund goal, making saves from Benzema and Rodríguez.

It was no surprise when Los Blancos opened the lead. Dani Carvajal was given all the space in the world on the Madrid right, and used it to great effect, crossing the ball precisely into the path of Benzema. It was a simple finish for the Frenchman.

Having failed to test Keylor Navas before the goal, Dortmund finally came alive in the game once they were behind. A long range effort from Marc Bartra man was never likely to go in, but Pulisic had a shot saved by the Costa Rican keeper, before a superb save kept out an awkward free-kick from Schürrle, which had found its way through a hole in the Real wall.

Dortmund were then unable to capitalise on a great chance, with Gonzalo Castro’s cross towards Aubameyang was over hit, before at the other end Cristiano Ronaldo couldn’t connect with a ball in from Benzema. The last chance of the half fell to Castro, but he hit it straight at Navas.

Aubameyang and Reus star as Dortmund fight back

Dortmund started the second half with two excellent chances to get back in the game. Ousmane Dembélé went just wide following a superb run through the box, before Castro fluffed a perfect chance to score presented to him by Pulisic.

Reus slides in late on to level up the tie. Photo: Getty/ Angel Martinez
Reus slides in late on to level up the tie. Photo: Getty/ Angel Martinez

Real then thought they’d missed the chance to double their advantage. From a Ronaldo cross, Benzema had a shot saved by Weidenfeller, with Rodríguez unable to do anything with the rebound. However moments later the Colombian was back on the ball, crossing in from the left, and Benzema met it with a precise header to score a second.

Dortmund were far from dead and buried though, and their quest for a goal finally came to fruition seven minutes later. A long ball from Weigl found the on-running Marcel Schmelzer on the left, with his cross turned in by Aubameyang.

They couldn’t build on the momentum initially though, with Real again having the better of things. It was Ronaldo who had the best chances, having a curling strike sent wide by Weidenfeller, with Benzema’s header form the corner cleared off the line by substitute Reus. He was then found by Lucas Vázquez, beating Weidenfeller this time but striking the post.

The final say would fall to Reus though. Emre Mor, also coming from off the bench, played a perfect ball through the Madrid defence to find Aubameyang. He charged forward, played the ball across to Reus, who showed his class in his finish past Navas.