Real survive Werder scare
Van Nistelrooy strike secures 2-1 win
By James Pearson. Last Updated: September 18, 2007 10:26pm
Ruud: 50th Champions League goal
Real Madrid survived a scare by Werder Bremen before running out 2-1 winners in their UEFA Champions League opener.
Raul nodded the home side ahead, but their lead only lasted a minute with Boubacar Sanogo providing a swift reply.
Despite a lacklustre second half, Ruud van Nistelrooy notched his 50th Champions League goal to give Real an opening win in Group C.
It took time for the home side to find their feet, but once they clicked they were on the front foot for much of the first half at El Santiago Bernabeu.
The first goal of the game arrived in the 16th minute from a familiar face with Raul heading home Van Nistelrooy's neat cross at the near post.
No sooner had Real forged ahead, but they switched off from the restart, allowing the Bundesliga side to strike back almost immediately.
The ball was worked out well to Dusko Tosic wide on the left and he delivered a pin-point cross that Sanogo touched home past Iker Casillas from close range.
Werder's quick-fire reply clearly rattled Real with the visitors nearly nosing ahead with only a fine save from Casillas denying Markus Rosenberg from Diego's low cross.
All RealHowever, it was all Real for the remainder of the half with Van Nistelrooy in particular causing numerous problems for Thomas Schaaf's troops.
The former Manchester United ace firstly sent Gonzalo Higuain's cross just wide of the upright before a last-ditch tackle from Per Mertesacker denied the striker from close range.
The lively Higuain connected sweetly with Marcelo's pass, after a great run down the left by the Brazilian, however, his effort fizzed just wide of the far post.
Despite Higuain going close for Bernd Schuster's side moments after the re-start, it was Werder who looked the more likelier to go in front.
Real turned the screw with a quarter of the contest remaining and the pressure paid off with the winning goal coming from Van Nistelrooy.
The Dutch ace got in behind the defence and he finished with aplomb past Tim Wiese with a low drive into the bottom corner from Raul's through ball.
Despite late pressure from the Bundesliga outfit, Real did not let their second lead of the game slip to open their Champions League with a hard-fought success.
|Real Madrid||Team Statistics||Werder Bremen|
|1||1st Half Goals||1|
|11||Shots on Target||6|
|6||Shots off Target||7|
UEFA Champions League
Tue 18th Sep - Group C
R Madrid2 - 1W Bremen
Olympiakos1 - 1Lazio
Tue 18th Sep - Group B
Schalke0 - 1Valencia
Chelsea1 - 1Rosenborg
Tue 18th Sep - Group D
Shak Donetsk2 - 0Celtic
AC Milan2 - 1Benfica
Tue 18th Sep - Group A
FC Porto1 - 1Liverpool
Marseille2 - 0Besiktas
UEFA Champions League Group A
UEFA Champions League Group B
UEFA Champions League Group C
|1||Paris St Germain||5||13|
UEFA Champions League Group D
|4||FC Viktoria Plzen||5||0|
UEFA Champions League Group E
|4||FC Steaua Bucuresti||5||3|
UEFA Champions League Group F
UEFA Champions League Group G
|2||Zenit St. Petersburg||5||6|
UEFA Champions League Group H