Amazing Raul drives Madrid to four-goal comeback trail

Real Madrid 4 - Roma 2
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The Independent Online

Raul scored twice last night as Real Madrid staged a stirring comeback to beat Roma 4-2 in Group B and gain their first points of this season's Champions' League.

Raul scored twice last night as Real Madrid staged a stirring comeback to beat Roma 4-2 in Group B and gain their first points of this season's Champions' League.

Luis Figo converted a penalty and Roberto Carlos also scored to seal Madrid's recovery at the Bernabeu Stadium after Roma grabbed two early goals through Daniele De Rossi and Antonio Cassano.

Ezio Sella, who replaced Rudi Voller as Roma coach at the weekend, looked as if he was set for a dream start when De Rossi pushed the ball past the advancing Iker Casillas in the third minute after a deft chip by Traianos Dellas caught the Madrid defence flat-footed.

The Italian's stunned Madrid with a second goal in the 21st minute when Francesco Totti rounded the home defence at the edge of the area before delivering a through ball which was dummied by Simone Perrotta, allowing Cassano to score with a low shot off the post.

However, Madrid shook themselves out of their lethargy with Raul opening his account six minutes from the interval with a shot from the edge of the area which looped over goalkeeper Ivan Pelizzoli after taking a deflection off Dellas.

The goal drew protests from Roma, which argued that Madrid had twice taken a throw-in.

Zinedine Zidane sent the ball on to the field from the touchline only for Roberto Carlos to pick it up and throw in again.

Madrid levelled in the 53rd minute through Figo's penalty, awarded after Roma right back Christian Panucci was adjudged to have pushed Raul as he prepared to meet a Michel Salgado cross from the right.

Mariano Garcia Remon's team then laid siege to the Roma goal and Raul scored again in the 72nd minute when he poked home Figo's low cross from the edge of the area.

Roberto Carlos crowned Madrid's comeback with a thunderbolt from the edge of the area seven minutes later, which left the outstretched Pelizzoli with no chance.

In the next round of matches, Madrid host Dynamo Kiev.

Real Madrid (3-5-2): Casillas; Salgado, Carlos, Samuel; Helguera, Figo, Beckham, Celades, Zidane; Raul, Ronaldo. Substitutes not used: Diego, Morientes, Owen, Guti, Bravo, Pavon, Mejia.

Roma (3-5-2): Pelizzoli; Cufre, Dellas, Panucci; Mancini, Candela, De Rossi, Dacourt, Perrotta; Cassano, Totti. Substitutes not used: Curci, Sartor, Ferrari, Montella, Scurto, Aquilani, Mido.

Referee: V Ivanov (Russia).

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