Two new boys would save the day for their La Liga squads in their second opening round match of the Champions League.
For Barcelona, David Villa would net a second half equalizer via the penalty in the 60th minute. The score that would draw the match even would come after FC Rubin Kazan took the advantage in the first half on a penalty score as well. Barcelona would dominate most of the match through ball possession, but lacked the finishing touch even when Lionel Messi would enter the match late returning astonishingly quick from that painful ankle injury just a few weeks back.
But Barcelona would settle for the draw and a comfortable four points from two matches so far this tournament following that 5-1 Panthinaikos pounding.
And Real Madrid, playing in the same group as AC Milan, would need a 6 point effort in their first two matches to help aid their Champions League hopes this season and they would get exactly that with a narrow, but deserved 1-0 victory over AJ Auxerre the night before Barca’s match.
And once again a new boy would come to the rescue in late substitute winger Angel Di Maria. Di Maria would score off of a cross from German World Cup star and yet another key transfer Mesut Ozil. Di Maria volleyed the shot into the net with nine minutes to spare and Real Madrid went on to earn six points in two matches with 4 point AC Milan up next on the schedule.
Jose Mourinho was very proud of his team’s effort in the close victory:
It was a good match all-in-all. It was tough playing a well-organized adversary that fell back to defend and that created a lot of danger on the counterattack. It wasn’t easy because we wanted to control the match as well as defend against the counter. Winning this match and earning our sixth point are all that count.
The team came through in a very difficult game. We were put through two tough moments in defence; the first in the first half and another in the second. We didn’t create as many chances as we have been doing, but we moved the ball well. We sought other solutions in the second half.