Skip to main content

Champions League: Real Madrid survives Lugodorets scare

updated 5:47 PM EDT, Wed October 1, 2014
Ludogorets Razgrad midfielder Marcelinho celebrates putting the Bulgarian minnows into a shock 6th minute lead over European champions Real Madrid. Ludogorets Razgrad midfielder Marcelinho celebrates putting the Bulgarian minnows into a shock 6th minute lead over European champions Real Madrid.
HIDE CAPTION
Early shock
Benzema winner
Real relief
Welbeck treble
Basel blow
Turan de force
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
>
>>
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Real Madrid eke out a narrow away win over Bulgarian minnows Ludogorets
  • Karim Benzema scored the winner with 13 minutes left after Real had gone behind
  • Danny Welbeck grabs a hat-trick as English side Arsenal beat Galatasaray 4-1
  • Arda Turan's late goal seals 1-0 win for Spanish champions Atletico Madrid over Juventus

Follow us at @WorldSportCNN and like us on Facebook

(CNN) -- Ludogorets Razgrad may only have been founded 13 years ago but on Wednesday it stood on the brink of the biggest result in its brief history.

The Bulgarian club, transformed by multi-millionaire businessman Kiril Domuschiev, stood a mere 13 minutes away from a draw with European champions Real Madrid.

In front of a packed National Stadium in the Bulgarian capital of Sofia, the Spanish side's superstars -- including Cristiano Ronaldo, James Rodriguez, Gareth Bale -- were on the verge of a major embarrassment.

But Carlo Ancelotti's side aren't Champions League holders for nothing and France striker Karim Benzema got them out of jail in the nick of time with a goal that sealed a 2-1 win.

Football: Beyonce crazy for PSG?

Rio Ferdinand joined Manchester United in 2002 for a fee of £30 million ($48.5 million) which made him the world's most expensive defender at the time. He won six Premier League titles and the 2008 Champions League during his 12-year spell at Old Trafford. Rio Ferdinand joined Manchester United in 2002 for a fee of £30 million ($48.5 million) which made him the world's most expensive defender at the time. He won six Premier League titles and the 2008 Champions League during his 12-year spell at Old Trafford.
In defense of Ferguson
HIDE CAPTION
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
>
>>
In defense of Ferguson In defense of Ferguson
Beyonce has been rumored to be a Liverpool fan but she was in Paris on Tuesday night to take in a Champions League match in the French capital. Beyonce has been rumored to be a Liverpool fan but she was in Paris on Tuesday night to take in a Champions League match in the French capital.
Beyonce's ball game
HIDE CAPTION
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
>
>>
Beyonce: Crazy for soccer? Beyonce: Crazy for soccer?
Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates after scoring one of Real Madrid's eight goals against Deportivo la Coruna at the Municipal de Riazor stadium. Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates after scoring one of Real Madrid's eight goals against Deportivo la Coruna at the Municipal de Riazor stadium.
Real Madrid: Eighth wonder
HIDE CAPTION
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
>
>>
Real Madrid: Eighth wonder Real Madrid: Eighth wonder

The minnows had gone ahead, Marcelinho converting from a corner after just 6 minutes to send an already excited crowd into raptures.

Just four minutes later Javier Hernandez -- on loan from English club Manchester United -- won a penalty but Ronaldo's effort was saved by Vladislav Stojanov.

Ironically, it was defender Cosmin Moti who gave the Portuguese the chance to make amends 15 minutes later after bringing down the world player of the year inside the area.

Moti had been Ludogorets' hero when it made the group stage, going in goal after its goalkeeper was sent off and saving two penalties against Romania's Steaua Bucharest in the playoff.

But Moti could only watch on as Ronaldo found the bottom corner to restore parity.

Ludogorets gave as good as it got in an open second half but just as it looked as if the match was destined for a draw, Benzema finished neatly from a right wing cross.

The other match in Group B saw English Premier League club Liverpool beaten 1-0 by FC Basel in Switzerland.

Marco Streller scored the only goal of the game, pouncing on a loose ball inside the penalty area to slot into the roof of the net from close range.

Raheem Sterling wasted Liverpool's best chance while striker Mario Balotelli was again kept quiet.

Captain Steven Gerrard told Sky Sports: "They wanted it more and we were second best against an OK team. We made it easy for them. We wanted at least a draw and I expected us to win so I'm very disappointed."

Danny Welbeck notched his first hat-trick in Arsenal colors as the Gunners thumped Turkish side Galatasaray 4-1 at Emirates Stadium in London.

The striker, signed by Arsene Wenger from Manchester United on transfer deadline day, struck first on 22 minutes after a through ball from another new recruit -- Alexis Sánchez, signed from Barcelona.

Poor defending from the Turks allowed Welbeck to double his tally eight minutes later, as he raced onto a misplaced header from Felipe Melo and finished into the bottom corner.

Sanchez ensured Arsenal went into the break leading by three as he cut inside and found the same corner Welbeck had moments earlier.

And England forward Welbeck completed his first treble for his new club with a neat finish on 52 minutes, dinking the ball over Fernando Muslera from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain's pass.

Arsenal were reduced to 10 men when goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny brought down Burak Yilmaz in the area, the striker slotting home from the spot after substitute David Ospina had come on.

Webeck told Sky Sports of his first senior hat-trick: "The manager has shown a lot of faith in me and I'm delighted to repay him.

"I'm playing up front in my favored position and I'm going to do everything I can to help the team."

Wenger, celebrating his 18th anniversary as Gunners boss, added of the striker: "It was a great performance -- he has the instinct of a goalscorer and finished well the work of the team."

Elsewhere, a double from Adrián Ramos helped German outfit Borussia Dortmund to a 3-0 victory over Anderlecht in Belgium, Ciro Immobile grabbing the other goal.

A late goal from Arda Turan sealed victory for Spanish champions Atletico Madrid over Juventus. It was the first goal the Italian champions had conceded this season.

Hakan Calhanoglu, Stefan Kiessling and Son Heung-Min got the goals as Bayer Leverkusen defeated Benfica 3-1 in Germany.

A double from Markus Rosenberg helped Malmo to a 2-0 victory over Greek club Olympiakos in Sweden, while French side Monaco and Zenit St Petersburg drew 0-0 in Russia.

Read: Man Utd fans beg Ronaldo to "come home"

Read: Ferdinand defends Ferguson

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 6:23 AM EST, Tue December 16, 2014
After 20 years, more than 300 goals and a host of major honors, Thierry Henry has called time on his glittering football career.
updated 5:14 AM EST, Fri December 19, 2014
They do things differently at Sociedad Deportiva Eibar, up in the mist-cloaked valleys of the Basque country. And it is working.
updated 8:53 AM EST, Wed December 10, 2014
He might be struggling to score goals for Liverpool, but Mario Balotelli's cheeky tweet about the British monarch hit the spot during the World Cup.
updated 8:53 AM EDT, Tue October 28, 2014
How Real Madrid's new stadium will look
They splash the cash on the world's best players, now Real Madrid are giving the Bernabeu the same treatment with a bling makeover.
updated 9:09 AM EDT, Mon October 27, 2014
Football world mourns South African captain Senzo Meyiwa who was shot and killed during a botched robbery in a township near Johannesburg.
updated 9:48 AM EDT, Tue October 21, 2014
A man as a Roman centurion and who earn his living by posing with tourists gestures in front of the Colosseum during a protest where some of his colleagues climbed on the monument on April 12, 2012 in Rome. The costumed centurions are asking for the right to work there after they were banned following a decision by local authorities.
From the ancient ruins of Rome, a new empire rises. But the eyes of the city's newest gladiator light up at thoughts of the Colosseum.
updated 12:22 PM EDT, Tue October 21, 2014
Once part of Germany's largest Jewish sports club, now he's the first ISIS suspect to stand trial in a country left shocked by his alleged radicalization.
updated 10:11 AM EDT, Fri October 17, 2014
One goal in eight matches for new club Liverpool, and dumped by the Italian national team -- Mario Balotelli has yet to shine on his English return.
updated 2:19 PM EDT, Sat October 18, 2014
Ched Evans smiles during the Wales training session ahead of their UEFA EURO 2012 qualifier against England on March 25, 2011 in Cardiff, Wales.
Should a convicted rapist, who has served their time in prison, be allowed to resume their old job? What if that job was as a high-profile football player?
updated 8:47 AM EDT, Thu October 16, 2014
After 10 years of golden glory, it's easy to see how Lionel Messi has taken his place among the football gods.
updated 6:34 AM EDT, Thu October 16, 2014
A football fan wipes a tear after Inter Milan's Argentinian defender Javier Zanetti has greeted fans following the announcement of his retirement before the start of the Italian seria A football match Inter Milan vs Lazio, on May 10, 2014, in San Siro Stadium In Milan
When will the tears stop? A leading Italian football club is pursuing a new direction -- under the guidance of its new Indonesian owner.
updated 6:41 PM EDT, Mon October 13, 2014
Norwegian 15-year-old Martin Odegaard is the youngest player ever to feature in a European Championships qualifying match.
updated 9:10 AM EDT, Fri October 10, 2014
After revolutionizing cricket with its glitzy Twenty20 league, India has now thrown large sums of money at a new football venture.
updated 10:53 AM EDT, Thu October 2, 2014
Get ruthless. That is Rio Ferdinand's message to soccer's authorities in the fight to tackle the scourge of racism.
updated 9:28 AM EDT, Wed September 10, 2014
A picture taken on May 16, 2014 shows 15-year-old Norwegian footballer Martin Oedegaard of club Stroemsgodset IF cheering during a match in Drammen, Norway. Oedegaard is set to become Norways youngest player ever in the national football team.
He's just 15 and the world is seemingly already at his feet. Norway's Martin Odegaard is being sought by Europe's top clubs.
ADVERTISEMENT