Posted: Tuesday September 18, 2012 4:48PM ; Updated: Tuesday September 18, 2012 5:35PM

Ronaldo finishes Manchester City in wild Champions League opener

Story Highlights

Cristiano Ronaldo scored in the 90th minute for a 3-2 Real Madrid victory

All five goals came in the final 30 minutes, beginning with Edin Dzeko in the 68th

Marcelo (76th minute) and Karim Benzema (87th) also scored for Real Madrid

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Cristiano Ronaldo
Cristiano Ronaldo capped a stretch of five goals in the final 25 minutes.
Felix Ordonez/Reuters

MADRID (AP) -- Cristiano Ronaldo had the last word in a wild shootout against Manchester City, scoring in the 90th minute Tuesday as Real Madrid came back for a 3-2 victory in a Champions League opener where all five goals came over the last 25 minutes.

Ronaldo, returning to the Santiago Bernabeu for the first time since saying he felt "sad'' at the club, scored with a dipping shot that slipped past goalkeeper Joe Hart as Madrid showed the grit and determination that coach Jose Mourinho had said was missing from the team.

Ronaldo's winner capped a frantic finale after City had done well to soak up Madrid's pressure in the first half before twice taking the lead in the second.

Yaya Toure stole the ball from Pepe to start a 69th-minute break, slipping the ball through to substitute Edin Dzeko to move into the area alone and slot past Iker Casillas.

Madrid equalized eight minutes later as Marcelo made up for two previous misses from the same distance by curling a long shot into the top corner, after the ball deflected off Javi Garcia to to sail out of Hart's reach.

With the game continuing at a furious pace, Madrid's weakness on set pieces again proved costly as substitute Aleksandar Kolarov curled a free kick into the area that bounced untouched beyond Casillas inside the far post.

But Madrid came roaring back as substitute Karim Benzema turned to squeeze home an 87th-minute equalizer past Hart, before Ronaldo capped the rally as the hosts shook off the criticism following a poor domestic start to emerge triumphant in the matchup between the champions of Spain and England.

Ronaldo, who refused to celebrate when scoring in his last home game, didn't hesitate to do so this time. He slid toward the corner before being mobbed by his teammates, while Jose Mourinho also seemed to release a weight of emotions as the Madrid coach slid onto the field on his knees with his fists pumping in delight.

It was a tough loss for City, in a group that also includes German champion Borussia Dortmund and Ajax. Dortmund beat the Dutch club 1-0 at home in the other Group D game.

Mourinho said football didn't look like the priority for many of his players during Saturday's 1-0 loss at Sevilla, and the Portuguese coach said he would have made up to seven lineup changes if he could have. On Tuesday, he made two big ones with defender Sergio Ramos - a regular starter for the Spanish champions since 2005 - and playmaker Mesut Oezil left on the bench. Michael Essien was handed a debut while Raphael Varane replaced Ramos for the French teenager's first appearance of the season.

Sergio Aguero was available on the bench afer an inury, but the City striker did not play as manager Roberto Mancini handed Serbian teenager Matija Nastasic his club debut in central defense alongside captain Vincent Kompany. Garcia started for the second straight game to back up Toure, with Carlos Tevez in attack in between wingers David Silva and Samir Nasri.

Ronaldo nearly put the hosts ahead with two dangerous efforts early on but Hart was up to the task as Madrid showed more poise and attacking intent but also saw Gonzalo Higuain and Sami Khedira miss clear scoring chances.

City seemed happy to hit on the counter, but Madrid went into halftime with a 16-to-1 advantage in shots.

Madrid maintained its attacking intent after the break and Dzeko's goal opened up the field of play even more, with both teams coming close often.

But while Kolarov's surprising goal seemed to stun Madrid, Benzema's first goal of the season calmed nerves and the Spanish club immediately started pressing for a winner. And Ronaldo finally couldn't be denied, making up for his several previous misses and a chance where he went for a shot instead of feeding the wide open Angel Di Maria in front of goal.

Copyright 2012 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

 
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