Real thwarted by Pandev brace
Van Nistelrooy nets twice but Lazio secure point
By Lewis Rutledge. Last Updated: October 3, 2007 11:05pm
Pandev: At the double for Lazio
Lazio came from behind twice to salvage a 2-2 draw against Real Madrid in UEFA Champions League Group C.
Ruud van Nistelrooy netted early in each half for the Spanish champions, but his achievement was matched by Goran Pandev in an entertaining encounter.
Van Nistelrooy, often hailed as one of the most natural goalscorers on the planet, demonstrated his knack for being in the right place at the right time as he turned in Wesley Sneijder's stunning left-wing cross in the eighth minute without seeming to realise the ball had come to him.
Lazio gradually settled as the first half progressed and created a number of opportunities before Pandev equalised after 32 minutes.
Pandev himself was culpable on two occasions, first delaying his shot too long to allow Gabriel Henize to rush back and block, and then blazing over with just Iker Casillas to beat.
Lazio draw level
Casillas made a point-blank save to keep out Massimo Mutarelli's header, but the goalkeeper could do nothing moments later as Pandev volleyed powerfully into the roof of the net following good work from Guglielmo Stendardo.
Real responded strongly and threatened to take the lead again before half-time as Sergio Ramos poked wide after a blistering run down the right.
Arjen Robben also worked Marco Ballotta after combining well with Dutch compatriot Sneijder, and Real continued to pile on the pressure as the second half got underway.
Van Nistelrooy acrobatically fashioned an opening himself as he flicked up Raul's pass and attempted an overhead kick, but Ballotta sprang to his left to keep Lazio on level terms.
The Italian side looked dangerous on the break and missed two glorious opportunities as Stefano Mauri and Tommasso Rocchi wasted one-on-ones against Casillas.
Casillas can take some credit for making a routine save to deny Mauri, but Rocchi failed to even hit the target as he stabbed tamely wide from six yards.
Van Nistelrooy class
Mauri and Rocchi were taught a lesson in finishing after 61 minutes as Van Nistelrooy latched onto a pass from Raul and coolly lifted his shot over the onrushing Ballotta.
Lazio briefly looked rattled but Pandev conjured a second equaliser from nowhere when he wriggled away from Heinze and lashed a powerful effort into the bottom right corner from the edge of the area.
Both sides committed men forward in pursuit of a winner in the closing stages, but there were no more significant chances and the game ended in a 2-2 draw which leaves Real Madrid on four points and Lazio on two.
|Lazio||Team Statistics||Real Madrid|
|1||1st Half Goals||1|
|5||Shots on Target||6|
|3||Shots off Target||2|
UEFA Champions League
Wed 3rd Oct - Group C
W Bremen1 - 3Olympiakos
Lazio2 - 2R Madrid
Wed 3rd Oct - Group D
Celtic2 - 1AC Milan
Benfica0 - 1Shak Donetsk
Wed 3rd Oct - Group B
Valencia1 - 2Chelsea
Rosenborg0 - 2Schalke
Wed 3rd Oct - Group A
Besiktas0 - 1FC Porto
Liverpool0 - 1Marseille
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