Real Madrid scored two late goals to snatch a dramatic Champions League point against Borussia Monchengladbach.
Monchengladbach’s Marcus Thuram scored with a fine finish from Alassane Plea’s pass and added a second when Thibaut Courtois could only parry Plea’s shot.
Benzema’s overhead kick gave Real hope before Casemiro’s 93rd-minute leveller.
Monchengladbach, playing in the group stages of the Champions League for only their third campaign, were heading top of Group B until Real’s late double.
The hosts had chances to kill the game off when they lead 2-0 as Plea could have added a third when he broke clear of the visiting defence but was denied a one-on-one chance with Courtois.
Lars Stindl also shot narrowly wide for Monchengladbach, who have drawn both of their group matches 2-2 after a similar scoreline away at Inter Milan last week.
Real have one point from their two games after a shock 3-2 opening defeat by Ukrainian side Shakhtar Donetsk, who top the group.
Real avoid unwanted club record
Spanish champions Real were only seconds away from setting an unwanted club record as they were on the verge of losing four consecutive European matches for the first time in their history – including both legs of last season’s last-16 defeat by Manchester City and the game against Shakhtar.
Since that loss, Real beat Barcelona 3-1 at the Nou Camp in El Clasico on Saturday and would have been confident of defeating a Monchengladbach side sixth in the German Bundesliga.
Zinedine Zidane’s side made a bright start as Benzema shot wide, Sergio Ramos glanced a header off target and Toni Kroos had an effort saved by Yann Sommer.
But those missed chances proved costly as the hosts went ahead in the 33rd minute as Plea’s fine pass, which went through the legs of Raphael Varane and cut out Lucas Vazquez, was met by an excellent first-time finish from Thuram for the first of his two goals.
Ferland Mendy hit the crossbar for Real within seconds of the restart, before Thuram, the son of ex-France international Lilian, added his second after Courtois could only parry the ball into his path.
Real brought on ex-Tottenham midfielder Luka Modric and former Chelsea forward Eden Hazard for his first appearance of the season in an attempt to rescue the game.
And the visitors pulled one back when Casemiro did well to reach a header and stop the ball going out of play, with it falling into Benzema’s path and he scored acrobatically.
But Real were not finished and in the third minute of stoppage time a cushioned header from captain Ramos reached Casemiro and he steered his finish into the net
Real have reached at least the last 16 of the Champions League in every one of the past 23 seasons, and are in the same position as last year when they only picked up one point from their opening two games before reaching the knockout stages.
Nevertheless, Real, Champions League winners on three occasions in Zidane’s two spells in charge, find themselves bottom of Group B with a lot of work to do.
Real loose at the back – the stats
- Real Madrid avoided defeat in an away Champions League game having gone two goals behind for the first time since December 2006 against Dynamo Kyiv.
- Real (drew one, lost three) have failed to win four consecutive matches across all European competitions for the first time since September 2006 (a run of five).
- Borussia Monchengladbach have won only one of their last 12 matches in all competitions against Spanish teams (drew three, lost eight), winning 4-2 against Sevilla in November 2015 in the Champions League.
- Real have conceded five goals in the Champions League this season – the joint most they have conceded at this stage of the competition (also in 2004-05 and 2019-20), while they have failed to win their opening two group games in consecutive campaigns.
- Monchengladbach’s Marcus Thuram became just the third Frenchman to net a double in their first home Champions League appearance, after Thierry Henry (1997, Monaco) and Moussa Dembele (2016, Celtic).
- Monchengladbach became the 30th different opponent Karim Benzema has scored against in the Champions League – only Lionel Messi (36), Cristiano Ronaldo and Raul (33 each) have scored against more different opponents in the competition’s history.
- Sergio Ramos made his 125th Champions League appearance for Real Madrid – only six players have played more games for a single club in the competition’s history.
- 25BensebainiBooked at 79mins
- 32NeuhausBooked at 85mins
- 13StindlBooked at 55minsSubstituted forWolfat 79′minutes
- 10ThuramSubstituted forHerrmannat 71′minutes
- 14PleaSubstituted forEmboloat 79′minutes
- 14CasemiroBooked at 89mins
- 8KroosSubstituted forModricat 71′minutes
- 11AsensioSubstituted forRodrygoat 84′minutes
- 20Vinícius JúniorSubstituted forE Hazardat 70′minutes
- 7E Hazard
- Orel Grinfeld
Match ends, Borussia Mönchengladbach 2, Real Madrid 2.