Competition
  • Champions League

Real Madrid: The BBC weren't there - but Sergio Ramos was

Cristiano Ronaldo Ballon d'Or 2016

Late-goal specialist Ramos comes up with the goods again

Ramos (left) heads in the winner against Deportivo.

He did it again! With Real Madrid on the verge of dropping points, Sergio Ramos rose highest to nod in Toni Kroos' perfectly flighted corner in what Italians call 'Cesarini time', due to Juventus great Renato Cesarini's knack of scoring late. That may soon have to be renamed. The TV later replayed the goal from the viewpoint of a shot tracking Ramos' face. Focused, determined, lacking that sense of desperation overwhelming others in the final throes: total faith in his aim. A clash missing the BBC had taken a tricky turn for Real thanks to Deportivo's good work, but up popped that man (who's starting to feel like their get-out-of-jail-free card) to win it.

Joselu celebrates his second goal.

Zinedine Zidane kept back a host of regulars with Japan in mind, but those who lined up were still all names - because, at Madrid, everyone is. They were all current internationals. In the first half, however, things didn't work. Isco, James Rodríguez and Marco Asensio are all playmakers who want the ball to feet, and a ponderous Real got bogged down, with Álvaro Morata isolated in the box and the full-backs not joining the attack. Solid at the back with two banks sticking close together, Depor played on the counter, and the game plan saw them draw a fine save from Keylor Navas and also yielded an attempt against the woodwork. Two scares for the hosts. At the other end, Real were opening Depor up infrequently and with difficulty.

Ramos wins it after Real stunned by Joselu brace

The second 45 began with a cracker from Morata that seemed to set Real on their way. But they were dealt a setback when, instead of passing it back to the keeper, Casemiro got himself in a muddle that allowed Joselu to score. Real's reaction was to go all-out attack - and that led to a two-on-two break and another for Joselu. On came Lucas Vázquez and then Mariano Díaz, brimming with belief and enthusiasm. The Dominican it was who levelled, with what was more a 'shoulder-er' than a header. But that wasn't enough. The Bernabéu cranked it up a notch further and, in time added on, up stepped Ramos once more. The Madrid faithful went home happier than ever, because these are the emotions they love the most.