ALVARO MORATA’S last-minute winner gave Real Madrid a 2-1 win over Sporting Lisbon – who spent most of the second half in the lead.
It would have been the upset of the season so far after Bruno Cesar’s strike – but Cristiano Ronaldo had other plans against his boyhood club.
The Portuguese smashed in a free-kick with just minutes left on the clock – before Morata’s winner at the death.
Ronaldo had earlier been having a stinker for Real though. He hit the post from close range against his former club, when he really should have put the ball in the net and Morata had an effort ruled out for offside.
Gareth Bale gave Real an injury scare when he hobbled off just before half time but took to the pitch for the second half.
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Madrid looked to be heading for their first home defeat in the competition for five years after Bruno Cesar’s low effort three minutes into the second-half handed Sporting a thoroughly merited lead.
However, in a frantic finale, Ronaldo’s free-kick levelled the game in normal time before Morata met James Rodriguez’s cross deep into stoppage time to complete a dramatic fightback.
Ronaldo said after the game: “We started the game a little passively.
“But football is like this and Real Madrid are like this. The comebacks form part of this legendary stadium.”
Zinedine Zidane sacrificed Bale, Karim Benzema and Toni Kroos for Lucas Vazquez, Morata and Rodriguez as Madrid piled on the pressure in the final 20 minutes.
The Madrid boss hailed Real’s belief despite a sub-par display.
Zidane said: “I am happy because we have to suffer, but we never gave up.
“I don’t know if it was a fair result or not, but we believed until the end. You have to play 90 minutes.”