Legia shock Madrid in 3-3 thriller

Legia shock Madrid in 3-3 thriller


Real Madrid got off to the best possible start when Gareth Bale scored with a wonderful strike within a minute of kick-off. The ball was played to the Welshman from the left, it bounced once and he smashed his half-volley first-time into the top corner from 20 yards to give the visitors the lead.

Soon after Bale’s goal, Madrid almost found themselves 2-0 up when Raphael Varane headed a Toni Kroos corner goalwards, but the ball was scrambled off the line by a Legia defender.

Benzema then saw his curled effort saved by Malarz in the Legia goal, before Bale also had a header cleared off the line. Madrid finally punished the Polish side 10 minutes before the break when Benzema converted from Bale’s ball within the box and the away side appeared to be heading for yet another comfortable victory.

Five minutes later, seemingly out of nowhere, Legia found themselves back in the game thanks to a strike to rival Bale’s early effort. Midfielder Odjidja curled his left-footed strike from outside the area past Keylor Navas, clipping the post as it went in to make it 2-1.

After the break, Bale had another half-volley saved by Malarz and then Morata could only fire an effort into the side-netting. Guilherme almost equalized for the home side when his free-kick flew just over the bar but Legia didn’t have to wait long to be back on level terms.

Radovic picked up the ball from around 40 yards, drove forward and fired his effort into the bottom corner from just outside the area. Questions will be asked of Keylor Navas, however, who allowed the ball to roll under his arm, meaning the game was tied at 2-2.

Legia enjoyed a brief spell of dominance after their goal but Madrid continued to attack in an attempt to find a winner. Ronaldo saw a header sail wide and had a free-kick parried away by Malarz, before also having a penalty appeal turned down.

However, with less than 10 minutes of normal time to play and Legia had a surprise lead and it came from another brilliant strike. The ball was rolled to Moulin on the edge of the Real Madrid box, who curled a wonderful effort past Keylor Navas to make it 3-2 to the home side.

Just as Legia fans – who will have had to watch from home as the match was played behind closed doors – were dreaming of an historic victory, Real Madrid pulled one back almost immediately after Moulin’s effort.

The ball fell to Kovacic just inside the Legia box and the midfielder found the bottom corner with a tidy finish. Zidane’s men then pushed for a winner and almost won the game in the final minute, but Lucas Vazquez could only rattle the woodwork with his sweetly struck volley.

Overall, Legia were courageous and were good value for the draw, but Madrid will be frustrated that they squandered a number of chances and didn’t make their first half dominance count.