Champions League: Madrid in trouble despite late fightback

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Real Madrid's Federico Valverde celebrates after Real Madrid's Casemiro scored his side's second goal during the Champions League group B soccer match between Borussia Moenchengladbach and Real Madrid at the Borussia Park in Moenchengladbach, Germany, Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)

With one point from its opening two games, Real Madrid is facing another fight to preserve its proud record of qualifying for the knockout stage in all of its seasons in the Champions League.

It could have been a whole lot worse for the record 13-time European champions on Tuesday, though.

Heading into the 87th minute against Borussia Mönchengladbach, Madrid was losing 2-0 and on course for four straight losses in the Champions League for the first time.

However, goals by Karim Benzema and then Casemiro — in the third minute of stoppage time — rescued a 2-2 draw for the Spanish champions, who opened with a 3-2 loss at home to Shakhtar Donetsk last week.

Next up for Madrid is a double-header against Inter Milan, the team which was supposed to be its toughest rival in Group B but which is also still without a win. A 0-0 draw at Shakhtar, during which Inter hit the crossbar twice, came a week after a 2-2 draw with Mönchengladbach.

Madrid is in bigger trouble, though, in its 25th campaign in the Champions League, in which the team has never been eliminated in the group stage.

Last season, Zinedine Zidane's side started in almost identical fashion, losing its opener — 3-0 to Paris Saint-Germain — and then drawing 2-2 in its second match against Club Brugge. The overall standard of its group is tougher this time round.

“This is going to be a difficult year for everyone," Zidane said.