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Özil strikes late as Dortmund are denied in Madrid

Real Madrid CF 2-2 Borussia Dortmund
The German title holders were denied a famous victory by Mesut Özil's late goal for Madrid yet Dortmund continue to lead the way in Group D.

Özil strikes late as Dortmund are denied in Madrid
Özil strikes late as Dortmund are denied in Madrid ©UEFA.com

Mesut Özil struck an 89th-minute free-kick to rescue Real Madrid CF from a second successive defeat by Borussia Dortmund, a result that leaves the UEFA Champions League Group D standings delicately poised.

The German champions appeared on course for a famous win at the Santiago Bernabéu after a fearless display had earned them a 2-1 interval lead – Marco Reus's strike and an Álvaro Arbeloa own goal coming either side of a Pepe header. With the clock ticking down, however, Özil's set piece outwitted goalkeeper Roman Weidenfeller who allowed the ball to bounce in at his left-hand post. The draw keeps leaders Dortmund a point clear of Madrid in Group D.

Scorer of his team's winning goal in the corresponding fixture at the BVB Stadion Dortmund, Marcel Schmelzer created further havoc for Madrid's defence in the first half as he edged goalwards from the left before seeing his low effort blocked by Iker Casillas's legs; Robert Lewandowski fired the subsequent loose ball over the crossbar. Kevin Grosskreutz was next to test the reflexes of Madrid's keeper who responded by beating out a shot from distance.

Sitting second in the group as a consequence of the 2-1 reverse in Germany, Madrid wanted home revenge in the form of an eighth straight UEFA Champions League victory in the Spanish capital and Cristiano Ronaldo should have set them on their way instead of uncharacteristically rushing a header from Gonzalo Higuaín's centre. The latter player had caused Dortmund an early scare yet Jürgen Klopp's men were happy to take the game to their hosts.

The Bundesliga outfit got their reward in the 28th minute. Neven Subotić's searching ball from deep was nodded into Reus's path by Lewandowski and, after allowing the ball an extra bounce, the German international swiped a volley goalwards that Casillas could only help towards its destination. José Mourinho's side rallied and found parity six minutes later with Pepe heading Özil's cross from the left high into the net.

No matter for Dortmund whose coach, Klopp, would soon be expressing his delight at seeing his charges regain the lead. Eyeing his team-mates pushing forward, Weidenfeller punted a high ball towards Lewandowski who flicked on for Kevin Grosskreutz, in space on the left, and the midfielder crossed towards Mario Götze only for Arbeloa to direct the ball into his own net.

Mourinho sought to shift the midfield momentum with Michael Essien introduced for Luka Modrić. In came Kaká, too, as the Merengues attempted to avoid a second consecutive loss and the Brazilian had a hand in the move that ended with Ronaldo's point-blank strike being saved by Weidenfeller. Ángel Di María later hit an effort wide at the far post before Madrid's persistence finally paid off with Özil's late free-kick.