MADRID - Real Madrid showed the fighting spirit that had been lacking in recent games and had caused him to question their commitment, a relieved Jose Mourinho roared after his side battled back to beat Manchester City 3-2 on Tuesday.
Cristiano Ronaldo scored a 90th minute winner to give Real a winning start in the Champions League Group D, after they had twice fallen behind on a nervy night at the Bernabeu. Real have made a stuttering start to the defence of their La Liga title, earning only four points from a possible 12 so far.
Their most recent defeat, a 1-0 reverse at Sevilla, prompted a scathing attack by Mourinho on the commitment of some of his players which was still causing reverberations in the Spanish capital ahead of Tuesday’s game. “I am no-one in the history of Real Madrid but I have the right to say Madrid fans want to see this. We can play better football, but it was difficult today. We were low on confidence, lacking self-belief, but the important thing was the commitment from the players. This is the DNA of last year’s team. It is an important step in a difficult group.” Edin Dzeko and then Aleksandar Kolarov had put visiting City within touching distance of a famous victory before Karim Benzema and Ronaldo struck late on for Real.