Mesut Ozil struck an 89th-minute free-kick to salvage a 2-2 draw for Real Madrid at home to Borussia Dortmund and boost his side’s chances of reaching the Champions League knockout round as Group D winners on Tuesday.
Midfielder Ozil curled a left-foot effort into the net off a post to put Real level for the second time in an entertaining clash at the Bernabeu and deny Dortmund the win that would have put them in pole position to top the group.
Marco Reus volleyed the German champions in front in the 28th minute before Pepe equalised with a header six minutes later and Real’s Alvaro Arbeloa poked the ball into his own net on the stroke of halftime.
Real enjoyed lots of possession but created few genuine chances and Dortmund’s tactic of playing on the break almost earned them another victory after they beat Jose Mourinho’s expensively assembled side 2-1 in Germany last month.
The draw leaves Dortmund top on eight points after four of their six group matches, with Real second on seven ahead of Ajax Amsterdam (four) and Manchester City (two) following their 2-2 draw in the other match in the section.
“We played well in the second half,” Pepe said in an interview with Spanish television.
“They have a great team and everything is still open so we have to keep working,” added the Portuguese, whose goal was his third only in Europe’s elite club competition.
The travelling Dortmund fans high up in Real’s giant arena were in fine voice long before kickoff, comfortably drowning out their hosts as Real controlled possession in the early stages without really threatening.
Marcel Schmelzer and Kevin Grosskreutz both tested Iker Casillas after swift attacks before Reus broke the deadlock.
Imposing forward Robert Lewandowski nodded a long ball into the midfielder’s path and he held off Alvaro Arbeloa before crashing a shot past Iker Casillas on the bounce.
Real levelled when Pepe powered a header into the net from Mesut Ozil’s cross but Dortmund were back in front moments before halftime when Lewandowski won another header to release Grosskreutz and he flicked the ball on for Mario Goetze.
The 20-year-old was initially awarded the goal but replays showed Arbeloa had poked the ball into his own net.
Mourinho, a typically expressive presence on the Real bench, made two changes at the break, hauling off the disappointing Luka Modric and Gonzalo Higuain and replacing them with Michael Essien and Jose Callejon.
His players came out fighting and Callejon sent a low shot narrowly wide in the 49th minute before goalkeeper Roman Weidenfeller did well to block the substitute’s close-range effort when he was clean through on the hour.
Cristiano Ronaldo, top scorer in Europe’s elite club competition this season with five goals, had a quiet night although he forced a superb reaction save from Weidenfeller just over 10 minutes from time.
Dortmund looked to be closing in on the win that would have made them only the second German side to win at the Bernabeu after great rivals Bayern Munich.
However, Ozil, who plays with many of the Dortmund side for Germany, produced a moment of quality to salvage a point.