Defending Spanish champions Real Madrid endured another thoroughly frustrating 90 minutes in the UEFA Champions League and needed a dramatic comeback to secure a point against Borussia Monchengladbach.
The encounter at Borussia Park had a starkly different complexion until the 87th minute of the game. Marcus Thuram's goals on either side of the break meant that Real Madrid had roughly half an hour to save the tie. And right until the very end of the game, it appeared to be on course for a famous win for the Foals.
The Blancos threw bodies forward in the hope of breaking an organised block of Marco Rose's stubborn Gladbach, and it ultimately bore fruit after Karim Benzema's acrobatic finish followed Casemiro's superb work to keep the ball in play. The Brazilian was at it once again as he smashed the ball into the roof of the net after a clever Sergio Ramos header directed at him, bringing the scoreline to 2-2.
Casemiro's 93rd-minute equaliser saved Madrid from losing their two opening UCL games for the first time in their illustrious history. That being said, the solitary point still sees them linger at the bottom of a rather eventful group, and Zinedine Zidane's men could realistically face an early exit from the competition.
Let's take a look at the major talking points from the game.
#5 Real Madrid's squad rebuild looks inevitable
Last summer, Real Madrid spent upwards of a staggering €250m to sign the likes of Eden Hazard, Ferland Mendy, and Luka Jovic as part of massive summer spend to replenish their squad. Barring the Frenchman, the others failed to leave even a hint of a positive account of themselves, leaving Real Madrid an almost identical squad to the one they've had over the last four to five years.
Although it has been an incredibly successful side that's won honours aplenty, every great side needs a change of personnel from time to time. That, unfortunately, is something that this Real Madrid side did not manage to do. It isn't difficult to see why they have been constantly linked with the likes of Kylian Mbappe, Edouardo Camavinga, and Erling Haaland.
The Spanish champions have often done the impossible, including their historic three-peat. However, they are in need of an influx of young blood, and they need it at the earliest possible juncture. And more importantly, they also need to add another prolific scorer to their front line.
It was evident after their loss against Ajax in 2018/19, it was evident after their failure to progress last year, and they need one going by the evidence of their current campaign.
It would be primitive to say that they 'haven't replaced Cristiano Ronaldo' as he's long gone from the Spanish capital, but on nights such as the one they just had at Borussia Park, this glaring lack of another talismanic forward is bound to come to the fore once again.
#4 Marco Rose's stock continues to sore
Ever since his high-flying spell at RB Salzburg, Marco Rose has been tipped as one of the most exciting coaches in Europe. The German won two back to back titles with the Austrian giants and, additionally, got them to play slick, direct football, much to the delight of the Salzburg faithful.
There was a lot of expectation upon his move to Borussia Park, and so far, it's been a superb run for the towering German at the club. Rose guided the Foals to a superb fourth place finish last year, only behind perennial champions Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund, and RB Leipzig. After a relatively shaky start this season, the 44-year-old was just a minute and a half away from taking all three points off thirteen-time European champions Real Madrid.
Rose's Gladbach fought commendably on the night. Their transitions even until the last few minutes of the game were absolutely rapid, they were compact and hard to play through at the back, and pressed their illustrious opposition to win the ball back higher up the pitch. The opener came as a result of winning the ball back twice in the same sequence near the halfway line and it ultimately ended with a riveting finish from Marcus Thuram (more on him later).
The German coach has already been linked with some of the bigger jobs in football, and it isn't difficult to see why. The Bundesliga is filled with exciting young coaches, and Rose most certainly is one of them. His side's display did no harm to his growing reputation.