"If you don't finish off opponents, they can come back to bite you," Gareth Bale told UEFA.com after his first-minute goal for Real Madrid did not prove enough to beat Legia Warszawa.
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When Gareth Bale scored in the 57th second on Wednesday, it seemed improbable that Real Madrid would not go on to beat Legia Warszawa.
As it was, Madrid needed an 85th-minute Mateo Kovačić equaliser to secure a 3-3 draw, having failed to win a UEFA Champions League game after leading by two goals for the first time in 14 years. Bale, who had followed up Madrid's quickest ever strike in this competition by setting up Karim Benzema for the second, told UEFA.com: "We have to take lessons from this for the future. If you don't finish off opponents, they can come back to bite you."
That draw means that Madrid are not yet through to the round of 16, with Sporting CP still within five points, and they now trail Group F leaders Borussia Dortmund by two.
"Obviously we are disappointed we did not win the game today, we are disappointed about the result," Bale said. "We need to be better in the next games. We need to bounce back from this. And I am sure we will.
"We had control of the game, but then maybe we lost concentration. Maybe we thought the game was over; sometimes these things happen in football. If you don't finish off opponents, they can come back to bite you.
"I would not say we underestimated them. We knew they are a good team, they are in the Champions League for a reason, but at 2-0 we just did not finish our job.
"We won't make the same mistake in the future. The situation in the group is open and we have to win both remaining games. If we do, we will be top of the group and this is our aim."
Legia are off the mark and within two points of third-placed Sporting, who still have to visit Warsaw, but they too felt disappointment having gone 3-2 up with seven minutes to go.
Vadis Odjidja, who started the comeback, said: "I admit the result is fantastic for Legia, but after leading 3-2 just five minutes before the end of the game, in such circumstances we feel a little bit disappointed.
"But of course we had a great match. We were 1-0 down after seconds and we showed great character not to lose our heads. Legia are in the Champions League for the second time, after a 21-year break, and we showed today we are here for a reason. OK, we started the group stage very badly, but even [in the 5-1 loss] in Madrid we showed we are going in the right direction. And today we proved that."