Madrid, Dec 7 (IANS) Spanish football giants Real Madrid ended their group stage in the Champions League with a 3-2 win at home to Borussia Dortmund in an entertaining game in the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium.
With his side already qualified for the next stage but unable to overtake Tottenham as group winners, Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane rested some key players and gave others such as Theo Hernandez, Mateo Kovacic and young striker Borja Mayoral a rare starting opportunity, reports Xinhua news agency.
He was rewarded after just eight minutes when Mayoral opened the scoring following a pass from Isco.
When Cristiano Ronaldo doubled Madrid’s lead four minutes later it looked as if Madrid were on their way to a morale boosting win.
But they suffered a setback before halftime when Rafael Varene was forced out with a muscle injury which could sideline him for the World Club Championship.
Zidane dropped Lucas Vazquez back to the right side of the Madrid defence and introduced Marcos Asensio into the game but Dortmund pulled a goal back before the break thanks to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who finished from close range after a ball from the Madrid right.
Aubameyang equalized three minutes after the break with a shot from inside the Madrid area and the game became an end-to-end affair with both sides creating and missing chances with Ronaldo guilty of failing to add to his tally on a couple of occasions.
Vazquez scored the winning goal with nine minutes left, but Borussia have the minor consolation of qualifying for the Europa League in third place in their group with just two points.
Sevilla also reached the last 16 of the Champions League despite a 1-1 draw against Maribor thanks to a second half goal from Ganso, although Liverpool’s 7-0 thrashing of Spartak Moscow in a game they were winning 3-0 after 18 minutes meant Sevilla would have gone through even if they had lost in Slovenia.