Vincent Kompany happy to get Manchester City's toughest game out of the way first

City captain absolves himself and keeper Hart of blame for 'outstanding' Ronaldo's last-minute winner for Real Madrid

Madrid

Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany called for calm after seeing what would have been an invaluable point sail over his head and past Joe Hart at the Santiago Bernabeu on Tuesday night, reminding the doomsayers that at least they will only have to face Cristiano Ronaldo once more in the group stage.

"He made the difference. Without Ronaldo it would have been a different game," said Kompany after the Portuguese forward's goal a minute from time left City third in Champions League group D.

He was closest to the Ronaldo shot that gave Real Madrid three points and said: "Joe [Hart] initially thought I might have been able to get it. But there was no chance. It was on the side of me and it just floated. He was too quick and by the time you get in position the ball is already gone.

"I think he's one of the only players that can do that. He's got that technique and there is nothing much you can do once he has the chance to take that shot, all you can do is try to close down the space before he hits it."

Roberto Mancini complained about his City players sitting back and allowing Real Madrid to attack them. But the defender said it was Ronaldo's magic that frightened defences into retreat. "When he's on the ball you have to back off. He's capable of going past someone. I guess it's why Barcelona and Real Madrid are regarded as the two best teams in the world because [with Lionel Messi] they have those two outstanding players.

"The goal wasn't Joe's fault. It floated past everyone. It's one of those things. There are not many players in the world who can do that but unfortunately for us he is one of them."

The defeat gives Manchester City a worse start than last season when they drew with Napoli in their opening game but there is a feeling that the most difficult job is now out of the way.

Kompany said: "Real Madrid will probably take the points off Ajax and Dortmund at home too. What happened was regrettable but there's no drama. This is just the first game.

"It could have been a bonus point but we were playing against one of the strongest teams in the world, at their home. We'll improve this season and this was a great way to measure ourselves, to find out where we are as a club."

The sentiments were echoed by Gareth Barry who said after making it so hard for Madrid for so long they would now not be relishing the prospect of their trip to Manchester.

Barry said: "We matched them and could have come away with the three points. I'm sure it'll be a great game when they come to the Etihad Stadium but before then we have to get some points on the board.

"The positives are there – we twice took the lead; we've scored two goals in the Bernabeu and frustrated them for long periods of the game. There are so many positives we can take while at the same time seeing the big picture and recognising that we've lost the first game. We're going to need some big performances, but we believe we can produce them."

There was also encouragement to be taken from the respect Jose Mourinho had shown the opposition by selecting Michael Essien in a strong three-man midfield that left no space for flair players Luka Modric and Mesut Ozil. "There were a couple of surprises [in the selection]," admitted Barry. "They packed their midfield out with more defensive players."

City now face Arsenal at the weekend with Samir Nasri likely to miss out against his old club after picking up a hamstring injury in the first half against Real Madrid. "It's important we bounce back" added Barry. "We are undefeated [in the league] and this is a massive game for us."

News
The surrealist comedian at the Q Awards in 2010
people
News
Russell Brand arriving for the book launch in East London
peopleRussell Brand cancels his book launch debate due to concerns about the make-up of the panel
Sport
Christiano Ronaldo enjoys his opening goal
champions leagueLiverpool 0 Real Madrid 3: Ronaldo and Benzema run Reds ragged to avenge thrashing from their last visit to Anfield
Arts and Entertainment
Awesome foursome: Sam Smith shows off his awards
music22-year-old confirms he is 2014’s breakout British music success
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Six of the 76 Goats' cheese samples contained a significant amount of sheep's cheese
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
Contestants during this summer's Celebrity Big Brother grand finale
tvBroadcaster attempts to change its image following sale to American media group
Extras
indybest
News
Wilko Johnson is currently on his farewell tour
people
Arts and Entertainment
Sarah Dales attempts to sell British Breeze in the luxury scent task
tvReview: 'Apprentice' candidate on the verge of tears as they were ejected from the boardroom
News
Call me Superman: one of many unusual names chosen by Chinese students
newsChinese state TV offers advice for citizens picking a Western moniker
Voices
New look: Zellweger at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
voicesRenée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity, says Amanda Hess
Arts and Entertainment
Julianne Moore and Ellen Page are starring together in civil rights drama Freeheld
film
Voices
'Irritatingly Disneyfied': fashion vlogger Zoella
voicesVicky Chandler: Zoella shows us that feminism can come in all forms
Life and Style
health
Arts and Entertainment
Pink Floyd on stage at Live 8 in 2005. From left to right: David Gilmour, Roger Waters, Nick Mason and Rick Wright
music New album The Endless River set to overtake boyband for most pre-ordered of all-time
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker
Renée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity

'Renée Zellweger's real crime was to age'

The actress's altered appearance raised eyebrows at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
The 10 best smartphone accessories

Make the most of your mobile: 10 best smartphone accessories

Try these add-ons for everything from secret charging to making sure you never lose your keys again
West Indies tour of India: Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Decision to pull out of India tour leaves the WICB fighting for its existence with an off-field storm building
Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals

'You need me, I don’t need you'

Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals
How to Get Away with Murder: Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama

How to Get Away with Murder

Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama
A cup of tea is every worker's right

Hard to swallow

Three hospitals in Leicester have banned their staff from drinking tea and coffee in public areas. Christopher Hirst explains why he thinks that a cuppa is every worker's right
Which animals are nearly extinct?

Which animals are nearly extinct?

Conservationists in Kenya are in mourning after the death of a white northern rhino, which has left the species with a single male. These are the other species on the brink