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Real Madrid 2-2 Club Brugge: Ramos & Casemiro salvage a point for host after first-half horror show

The visitors stunned the Santiago Bernabeu in the first half through two goals from Emmanuel Bonaventure Dennis, but Sergio Ramos and Casemiro clawed back a point for Zinedine Zidane’s side.

A 3-0 defeat to Paris Saint-Germain on matchday one had led to some speculation over Zidane’s position as head coach and the nature of their first-half display against Brugge will have done little to ease the pressure.

The comeback, secured after Ruud Vormer’s red card, at least spared some of Madrid’s blushes and means they are only a point behind Brugge in Group A, who drew with Galatasaray in their opening match.

Dennis made a mess of Percy Tau’s low ninth-minute cross, but his poor touch saw the ball elude Thibaut Courtois and nestle in the Madrid net, with a VAR check sparing the visitors after an initial offside flag.

Simon Mignolet saved superbly from a Casemiro header, while Toni Kroos twice shot narrowly wide, but Madrid looked short of ideas in attack and pedestrian in possession.

It got worse six minutes before the break when Luka Modric’s careless pass sent Dennis through on goal and, after stumbling, he lofted the ball over Courtois and celebrated by mimicking former Madrid favourite Cristiano Ronaldo.

Zidane reacted by taking off Courtois – reportedly feeling unwell – and Nacho Fernandez for Alphonse Areola and Marcelo at half-time, but Dennis almost made it three when he had a shot saved. Captain Ramos then halved the deficit with a 55th-minute header from Karim Benzema’s cross, with VAR ruling the goal should stand after offside was initially given.

Just as Madrid appeared to be running out of time and ideas, away skipper Vormer was sent off for a second booking and Casemiro steered Toni Kroos’ delivery beyond the stranded Mignolet to snatch a point with five minutes left.

MATCH FACTS AND STATS

Real Madrid: Courtois (Areola 46), Carvajal, Varane, Ramos, Nacho (Marcelo 46), Casemiro, Modric, Kroos, Vasquez (Vinicius Jnr 66), Hazard, Benzema

Unused substitutes: Militao, Valverde, Jovic, Isco

Scorers: Ramos 55, Casemiro 85

Booked: Hazard

Club Brugge: Mignolet, Mata, Mechele, Deli, Ricca, Vormer, Rits, Vanaken, Diatta, Tau (Schrijvers 90), Dennis (Openda 70 (Cools 87))

Unused substitutes: Sobol, Kossounou, Diagne, Horvath

Scorers: Dennis 11, 39

Booked: Mignolet, Openda

Sent off: Vormer

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