Real Madrid 2-2 Borussia Dortmund: full-time summary
Real Madrid had to settle for second in Champions League Group F as Borussia Dortmund came from two goals down to force a draw on Wednesday evening.
But in spite of their disappointment at spurning a match-winning position, the stalemate in fact sees Real avoid a clutch of big guns in the last-16 draw.
Benzema brace has Madrid two to the good
Los Blancos knew only a win would do to leapfrog Thomas Tuchel's men in top spot, and after a double from Karim Benzema they looked on course to do just that.
Benzema came into the game at the Bernabéu on the back of significant criticism over his recent displays, but left the field to an ovation when substituted late on.
On a highly enjoyable night of football, the striker put Madrid deservedly ahead after half an hour by turning in Dani Carvajal's superb low ball to the back post.
And when he headed in James Rodríguez's cross seven minutes into the second half, Real seemed to have quelled a strong Dortmund spell either side of the break.
Aubameyang, Reus wipe out home team's lead
However, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang pulled one back for the visitors on the hour mark, finishing a neatly worked move from close range.
Despite Real creating a hatful of chances to regain their two-goal lead, Aubameyang then played in substitute Marco Reus to level two minutes from time.
Real into pot 2 - where they could well get a better draw
The goal saw the Germans set a new group-stage record of 21 goals - and potentially do the Champions League holders a favour by sending them into pot 2.
Madrid cannot now be paired with second-placed sides of the calibre of Paris Saint-Germain, Bayern Munich and Manchester City in Monday's draw, with Juventus, Leicester City, Arsenal, Napoli and Monaco their possible opponents.
Here's how it happened:
Real Madrid 2-2 Borussia Dortmund: second half
Peeeeeeeep! That's it! Borussia Dortmund win the group, Real Madrid have to settle for second. Judging by the home players' faces, they are drawing little consolation from the fact that being in pot 2 may bring them a kinder last-16 draw.
Min 93 | Muted shouts for a penalty as Carvajal challenges Aubameyang in the box, but nothing doing. Nothing in it. Incidentally, Dortmund have now broken the goals record in a Champions League group stage.
Min 92 | Real win a free-kick midway inside the Dortmund half, and it's ripe to be sent into the mixer. Can Ramos repeat his late heroics? No, he can't.
Min 90 | Three minutes of added time.
Min 89 | So that changes everything in Group F. Dortmund are going through as winners of the section, while Real will be in pot 2...
Min 88 | Goooooal! Dortmund equalise! There's no flag as Aubameyang is sent scuttling in behind the Real backline down the right, before laying it low across goal for Reus to sweep it in!
Min 85 | Real Madrid make a second substitution, and it's an ovation for Benzema as the two-goal striker is replaced by Álvaro Morata, who - like Kroos earlier - makes his comeback from injury.
Min 83 | You can't take your eyes off this game for a second. Mor looks to cross from the right, gets his delivery a little bit wrong and almost slices it in over Navas' head. The Costa Rican was alert to grab it, though.
Min 81 | Sebastian Rode came on for Castro a couple of minutes ago, by the way.
Min 80 | I make that five clear chances for Madrid to make it 3-1. Ten minutes to go, the hosts still going through as group winners as it stands.
Min 79 | Now Ramos almost scores a third! James crosses deep from the right to the back stick, where the central defender climbs highest to loop a header back across Weidenfeller - but the goalkeeper claws it out!
Min 78 | Ronaldo off the post! Vázquez clips it into the Portugal captain's run to the far post, and with the Dortmund backline waiting for a flag that doesn't come, he sidefoots it across Weidenfeller...but against the right-hand upright!
Min 76 | It's been a really enjoyable watch tonight.
Min 74 | Ooooh! Real charge up the other end and almost re-establish a two-goal lead! Vázquez zips down the right flank and crosses low, Sokratis' block bouncing straight to Marcelo - but the left-back fires it over!
Min 72 | Shame. That was a chance for Reus. He plays a lovely little one-two with Aubameyang, but with a clear sight of goal he can only scuff it at Navas.
Min 70 | Casemiro picks up a yellow card for a foul on Aubameyang. Sokratis then also earns himself a booking after being bamboozled by a James nutmeg and handling the ball. That incident hands Madrid a free-kick for Cristiano to strike...but it's against the wall.
Min 69 | Twice Real Madrid almost make it 3-1! First Cristiano has a yard of space to shoot from the edge of the area, drawing a fine save from Weidenfeller. From the resulting corner kick, James' delivery finds the head of Benzema - but the striker is denied a hat-trick by a yellow shirt on the line!
Min 67 | Within the space of 30 seconds, both sides are almost in. It's nicely poised right now.
Min 64 | Uffff! Mor makes an instant impression, whipping in a gorgeous left-wing cross low into the 'corridor of uncertainty', and Aubameyang is inches away from getting on the end of it at the back post. Ten minutes ago it looked like the Dortmund uprising had been quelled; now Zidane is cutting an increasingly agitated figure on the touchline.
Min 63 | Real make their first change, and it's a return to action for Toni Kroos as the German replaces Modric.
Min 61 | That goal sees the Germans draw level with the record of 20 goals in a single Champions League group stage. Tuchel shuffles his pack, introducing Emre Mor and Marco Reus for Schürrle and Pulisic.
Min 60 | Gooooal! Aubameyang pulls one back for Dortmund! It's a nicely worked goal. Weigl lifts it high to Schmelzer's run to the far post, where the left-back cushions it down to the Gabon international to finish low past Navas.
Min 57 | That second for Real had come after a decidedly dicey spell for the home team. Dortmund come forward and Pulisic gets himself into a great position to cross low in space from the byline, but Ramos blocks.
Min 54 | Just before doubling his side's lead, Benzema had spurned a golden opportunity from another low Carvajal cross. Like he did on the first goal, he did his best to shoot right at Weidenfeller when unmarked in the box. Unlike the first goal, the keeper kept it out.
Min 53 | Goooooal to Real Madrid! James flights in a delicious cross from the left, and Benzema is there to head in past Weidenfeller at the back post! 2-0!
Min 51 | Dortmund stroke it about in front of the Real backline, before Dembélé exchanges passes with Pulisic - but Marcelo is there to shepherd it out.
Min 48 | Well, well well - on this evidence the answer is yes! First Dembélé bursts into the box in between Ramos and Modric, but can only poke his shot just wide. Then Pulisic crosses low for Castro's near-post run, only for the German to scuff it right into Navas' grateful arms from close range.
Min 46 | Dortmund were looking lively in attack in the latter stages of that first half, after a period in which the hosts had had their guests largely under control. We'll have to see if Dortmund can maintain that head of steam.
Peeeep! We are back up and running in Madrid. No changes.
Real Madrid 1-0 Borussia Dortmund: half-time summary
Karim Benzema's goal means Real Madrid lead at the break, and as things stand will finish one point ahead of Borussia Dortmund at the top of Group F. Zinedine Zidane's men have conjured up some real neat passages of play and have without doubt been the better side, although the visitors have carved out more than one goalscoring opportunity, with André Schürrle going closest for the Germans.
Real Madrid 1-0 Borussia Dortmund: first half
Peeep! That's half time at the Bernabéu.
Min 45 | One minute of time added on. Marcelo slaps a shot over.
Min 44 | It's become quite the end-to-end affair in these closing stages of the first half. Dortmund's attacking threat had seriously tailed off, but with the clock ticking towards half time they've come back to life in Real's final third.
Min 43 | Now it's a white shirt that can't connect at the back post! Benzema fires it low to the back stick, but Cristiano can't quite reach it!
Min 42 | There's another opportunity for Dortmund! It's three on two for the visitors as Ousmané Dembélé feeds it wide to Pulisic - but, with Pierre Emerick Aubameyang in space at the back post - his ball is too long! Modric was booked for that foul on Weigl, incidentally.
Min 40 | Ooooh! Dortmund come close to a leveller for the second time in two minutes! Modric brings down Julian Weigl ten yards outside of their penalty area, and Schürrle stands over the free-kick. He fires his effort low - and through the Real wall - but Keylor gets there to turn it around the post!
Min 39 | Chance for Christian Pulisic! The young American is in space to shoot on the right-hand side of the box, but Navas saves!
Min 38 | Marc Bartra - who, one imagines, is quite happy Bale isn't playing tonight - leans back and curls a speculative effort wide of Keylor Navas' goal from long range.
Min 35 | That's nice. Casemiro plays it from right to left to the head of Luka Modric, who nods it on to Marcelo advancing on the left. It's a neat move, stopped only by a disappointing ball from the Brazilian.
Min 32 | James fires in a dangerous cross from the left, which is cleared only as far as Marcelo - who slaps it out. Real have contained Dortmund after a lively start, and are worth their lead.
Min 30 | Watching another replay of that goal, Benzema does try his best to shoot straight at the keeper. But the power took it into the net. Perhaps motivated by anger at the stick he's been getting of late, the Frenchman celebrated by booting the ball high into the air.
Min 28 | Goooooal! Benzema with it! Carvajal slides in a sumptuous low cross to the back post, and all the striker has to do is push it in past Weidenfeller! To give you an idea of how good the pass was, the Spanish commentary team were screaming goal before the ball had even reached Benzema.
Min 26 | Cristiano slips it out wide to Carvajal on the right, then collects the return ball in shooting range - but he takes too long to wind up his shot, and Gonzalo Castro nips in to take it off him.
Min 24 | Sokratis is back on.
Min 23 | Sokratis is down and in need of attention after being stepped on by Benzema as the pair challenged for the ball. Nothing intentional about it, but it looked painful nonetheless.
Min 20 | James shoots again, but his effort from just outside of the 18-yard area is comfortable for Weidenfeller.
Min 18 | Uffff! That's bright play from James Rodríguez. The Colombian starts the move with a neat crossfield ball out to Vázquez, who crosses to Cristiano. CR7 controls instantly inside the box and slides it to James' run towards the near post - but Weidenfeller is out quickly to parry.
Min 16 | Carvajal crosses, but it's meat and drink for Weidenfeller. Replays showed Thomas Tuchel turning away in disgust at that Schürrle miss earlier, by the way. You'd certainly have expected more from the ex-Chelsea man, especially given his equaliser against Real in the sides' first group-stage meeting.
Min 15 | On the evidence of the first quarter of an hour, it's fair to say that no-one's playing for a draw here.
Min 12 | Vázquez pops up on the left wing, dropping a shoulder and cutting in onto his right foot...but pings it high, wide and handsome.
Min 11 | Real win a free-kick on the right, which Casemiro heads off target. The flag was up anyway.
Min 10 | Uuuuuy! That's Madrid's first real opening. Casemiro does what Casemiro does in midfield, winning the ball back before feeding Cristiano, who scurries forward and finds the run of Karim Benzema into the box with a neat flick. The Frenchman's left-footed snapshot is right at Weidenfeller, though.
Min 6 | Real come back at Dortmund, Marcelo advancing down the left flank and whipping in a low cross that defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos makes an almighty hash of at the near post, but - thankfully for the Greek international - puts out for a corner. Which comes to zip.
Min 4 | Marcel Schmelzer almost picks Vázquez's pocket at the back post, before Dortmund carve out the first clear chance of the night! The left-back pings it low across the face of the box, Real's backline fail to deal with it and the ball runs to André Schürrle, who's in space to shoot from the edge of the area - but shoots over!
Min 2 | The game has started in top gear, as Real Madrid break at pace and Cristiano Ronaldo dallies a little before feeding Lucas Vázquez on the right, the Galician crossing straight into the arms of Roman Weidenfeller.
Peeeeep! We are underway at the Santiago Bernabéu.
One minute to kick-off | There's a pre-match minute's silence as a mark of respect for the victims of the tragic plane crash involving Brazilian football team Chapecoense. The silence spontaneously turns into applause.
Three mins to kick-off | The teams are out, the anthem blares, the coin is tossed. Oooh the anticipation. Looking forward to this.
Real Madrid - Borussia Dortmund: line-ups
Real Madrid XI: Keylor, Carvajal, Varane, Ramos, Marcelo, Casemiro, Modric, James, Vázquez, Benzema, Cristiano
Borussia Dortmund XI: Weidenfeller, Piszczek, Sokratis, Bartra, Schmelzer, Weigl, Castro, Pulisic, Dembélé, Aubameyang, Schürrle
Real Madrid - Borussia Dortmund: latest news
20:41 | Sevilla can still top their group if Dinamo Zagreb spring a surprise against Juventus. Were the Bianconeri also to go into pot 2, that really would put the cat amongst the pidgeons in Monday's knockout-stage draw.
20:38 | Sevilla are also in Champions League action this evening, with Jorge Sampaoli's men needing to avoid defeat by more than one goal at Lyon to progress. Otherwise, it's the Europa League and an unwanted opportunity to make it four in a row in Europe's second-tier competition.
20:31 | Real Madrid director of institutional relations (and former goal-plunderer-in-chief) Emilio Butragueño gives his thoughts on Spanish TV, reinforcing Zinedine Zidane's pre-match message that Los Blancos go out to win every match they play - regardless of the potential advantages of going into pot 2 of the last-16 draw...
20:29 | Borussia aren't the only ones scenting a bit of record-breaking action this evening. Having stretched their unbeaten run to 33 games in El Clásico at the weekend, Real Madrid can now equal their club record of 34, established under Leo Beenhakker in the 1988/89 season.
20:19 | Dortmund take on Real Madrid with a record at the Bernabéu that's not the best - no wins as yet, with their best result a 2-2 draw in the 2012/13 Champions League. That result would do them tonight, of course. Their most recent visit came in the knockout stages of Real's La Décima-winning campaign, when goals from Gareth Bale, Isco and Cristiano Ronaldo secured a 3-0 victory for Los Merengues.
20:16 | On the issue of Dortmund's potential group-stage goals record tonight (see 20:09), it's obviously worth noting that last night saw Barcelona become the latest side to equal the record of 20. Real Madrid also did it in 2013/14, on the way to winning La Décima.
20:14 | Re 19:16, here's a useful list of all Cristiano and Messi's European goals, courtesy of the nice people of UEFA.
20:12 | Tuchel is speaking to Spanish TV as we speak: playing Real at the Bernabéu in the Champions League is as good as it gets, says the BVB supremo.
20:09 | Dortmund's 8-4 boshing of Legia Warsaw on matchday five means they've already helped set one Champions League goals record this term. And should they score twice at the Bernabéu, they'll hop on the plane back to Germany with another. Thomas Tuchel's team are currently on 19 so far in this season's group stage (14 of which against Legia), with 20 the most any side has managed in a single round-robin phase.
19:54 | Karim Benzema starts at centre-forward, despite more than the odd question mark over his recent form. Here's what Zidane had to say about his countryman on the eve of today's game.
19:50 | For visitors Dortmund, Marco Reus - instrumental in the Germans' 4-1 Bundesliga win over Mönchengladbach at the weekend - has failed to recover from an extreme bout of the sniffles and has to settle for a place on the bench.
19:46 | Real Madrid bench: Casilla, Danilo, Pepe, Isco, Asensio, Kroos, Morata.
19:44 | Zinedine Zidane has named his side to host Dortmund, and the chief news is that James Rodríguez - an unused sub against Barcelona - is in in midfield. So too is Casemiro, who makes his second start since returning from an extended injury lay-off. No further changes to the Real team that began Saturday's draw at the Camp Nou.
19:27 | Also on the subject of CR7 and LM10, the pair are the two frontrunners to scoop the 2016 Ballon d'Or, which is to be presented on Monday, with the Portuguese the favourite.
19:23 | Speaking of the absolutely enjoyable, and not at all tiresome Cristiano-versus-Messi-just-enjoying-having-two-paradigm-shifters-in-one-generation-is-not-allowed dichotomy, here's a question: which of the two is the best-paid player in the world? Answer: neither.
19:16 | So, will we see Cristiano Ronaldo make it to 100 European goals this evening? He's been stuck on 98 not out for the past three Champions League games (95 in the UCL, one in qualifying, two in the Super Cup), and has gone a barely conceivable 71 days without a goal in the tournament. Get a wiggle on, Ronnie, or Mr Messi will beat you to it...
19:01 | So Toni Kroos and Álvaro Morata have shaken off injuries to return to Zizou's squad for the visit of Dortmund, while Danilo is also back in after overcoming a muscle niggle. Gareth Bale is now the sole occupant of Los Blancos' sickbay.
18:55 | Had a look at our match preview yet? It's waiting for you below.
18:45 | Two hours to go until kick-off, with Real Madrid needing to beat Borussia Dortmund to leapfrog Thomas Tuchel's men and finish top of Group F. The question is, though: will Real actually benefit from going into pot 1?
18:38 | Real Madrid-Borussia Dortmund. How, where, when... So many questions.
17:48 | We've just popped our head outside and it's a cool pleasant evening in the Spanish capital with a temperature of 13°. The weather men here say it'll stay the same up and through the game with no chance of rain. Sprinklers out.
17:03 | This tax investigation continues with even more names involved now. Xabi Alonso, Di Maria and Carvalho the latest to be linked.
16:10 | Jordi Alba reportedly made fun of Mateo Kovacic for not speaking Spanish last weekend. Here is the Croatian speaking fluently in five languages!
15:24 | Bojan Krcic's father said recently that Barcelona once turned down the chance to sign Luka Modric. Surely kicking themselves now!
14:45 | Tonight's match will be a landmark for Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane - it will be his 50th game in charge. Out of his 49 matches at the helm, 34 have been in LaLiga, 12 in the Champions League, 2 in the Copa del Rey and one in the UEFA Super Cup. And his overall figures: P 49 W 37 D 10 L 2 - in which time his side have scored 139 goals and conceded 43.
14:15 | Real Madrid jet off imminently to Japan to particpate in the FIFA Club World Cup.
13:40 | We know you have been waiting patiently for our Real Madrid round-up and your patience has been rewarded. Here it is and it consists of both good and bad news for Real Madrid.
13:05 | Is this Aubemayang's Real Madrid audition? His mother was speaking on Tuesday night and reiterated his desire to play for Real Madrid. As A kid he always spoke about Real Madrid and never Barcelona! He is going to fit right in..
12:30 | Today's editorial from Relaño is interesting as he asks the question "Is Zidane just a lucky coach" ?
11:50 | Good morning and welcome to our build-up ahead of this evening's final matchday of the 2016/17 UEFA Champions League group stage as Real Madrid welcome Bundesliga outfit Borussia Dortmund to the Santiago Bernabeu.
Real Madrid - Borussia Dortmund: match preview
With both teams already through to the next round of the Champions League last sixteen, just the small matter of deciding who tops the group (and in theory having an easier passage) in the next phase is at stake this evening at the Santiago Bernabeu. The German side hold a two point advantage over the side from the Spanish capital with only a win for Madrid good enough to see them climb to the summit of Group F.
Real Madrid come into tonight's game with a tail wind. Zidane's men snatched a late morale boosting draw at Camp Nou on Saturday to maintain a six point cushion at the top of LaLiga and his side are on a truly impressive run of 33 consecutive competitive games unbeaten. Avoiding defat this evening would see his side equal a previous record set by the Leo Beenhakker Real Madrid team in 1989.
More positive news for the French coach comes from the medical department as Toni Kroos and Alvaro Morata both return to a squad list for the first time since sustaining their respective injuries and the only long term absence for the 44 year old coach is that of Welsh international Gareth Bale who is expected to be absent through to spring 2017.
Kovacic, Mariano, Coentrao and Nacho are all omitted from tonight's squad by the French coach with Madrid's No. 7 Cristiano Ronaldo anxious to bag his one hundredth European goal this evening.
In yesterday's press conference Zidane reiterated that his team wanted to win the game and top the group. "We're at home and we want to accomplish what we know to do and that is win. We want maximum points and to top this group".
Borussia head coach Tomas Tuchel was also bullish about the prospect of coming second in the group and like his French counterpart was adamant that Dortmund were in Madrid to win dismissing any claims that a draw would suit the men in yellow and black
Marcos Reus is the main doubt for the BVB coach who confirmed that he wouldn't make a decision on the 27 year old playing until match-day. Dortmund come into the game buoyed by their impressive 4-1 win over the other Borussia (Monchengladbach) at Signal Iduna Park on Saturday that keeps the North Rhine based side on the shirt tails of chasing back behind RB Leipzig ahead by nine points.
All eyes at the Bernabeu are set to be on Pierre Emerick Aubameyang with the Borussia striker apparently high on Real Madrid's "wish list" ahead of the 2017/18 campaign. Another player to keep an eye out for is US international Christian Pulisic. The 22 year old impressed in the corresponding game in Germany and will look to create havoc for the Real Madrid rear-guard with his lightning pace and close ball control.
Real Madrid - Borussia Dortmund: expected starting line-ups
Real Madrid XI: Keylor Navas, Ramos, Varane, Carvajal, Marcelo, Casimero, Isco, Modric, Lucas Vazquez, Benzema, Cristiano
Borussia XI: Weidenfeller, Piszczek, Sokratis, Bartra, Schmelzer, Weigl, Castro, Rode, Reus, Aubameyang, Dembele