Brugge were falling over themselves to beat Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu but Real staged a dramatic two-goal comeback to take their first Champions League point of the season.
Twice Emmanuel Bonaventure Dennis stumbled as he shot and twice his effort still beat Thibaut Courtois.
The 21-year-old Nigerian forward – Dennis the Menace to Madrid’s comic strip first half defending – gave the Belgian champions a first half 2-0 lead but they could not hold on.
Sergio Ramos headed in the first of Madrid’s goals and after Brugge had their skipper sent off Casemiro headed in Toni Kroos’ free-kick to the leave the match at 2-2. Who says group games in this competition are boring?
There were nine minutes on the clock when Club Brugge took the lead. Brighton loanee Percy Tau was through down the left and when the South African international crossed, Dennis arrived to finish.
His first touch was poor, his second touch was worse. But with it, the ball cannoned off his shin and past Courtois who had already dived – completely thrown by Dennis’ wayward first touch.
There was a flag up but VAR found Tau to have been onside when he was played in and Dennis level when he received the cross. The goal stood and Madrid were behind.
Madrid reacted quickly with Simon Mignolet having to save brilliantly from Raphael Varane’s header after a Kroos corner.
Eden Hazard was bright, suddenly showing that electric ability to accelerate and brake and accelerate with the ball at his feet. But there was danger at the other end too.
Courtois had to save from Tau on 34 minutes and five minutes later he had been beaten once more. This time Luka Modric gave the ball away in midfield and it ran to Dennis who again stumbled but on this occasion stayed on his feet long enough to shoot past Courtois.
There were whistles inside the Bernabeu now and they became louder as Toni Kroos lost the ball just before the break.
Zinedine reacted by sending Marcelo on for Nacho at half time and Alphonse Areola came on for Courtois.
Hazard cranked-up the noise levels with a right foot shot saved by Mignolet four minutes after the restart but Dennis then saw Areola deny him his hat-trick as Brugge threatened in the counter.
On 55 minutes Madrid were back in it when Ramos headed in Benzema’s cross. The goal was ruled out for offside at first and the early replays showed Ramos the wrong side of the last defender.
But VAR had different images showing Clinton Mata playing the captain onside and when referee Georgi Kabakov drew his screen in the sky the Bernabeu erupted – the dramatic comeback was on.
Brugge captain Ruud Vormer leant a hand when he went through the back of Vinicius. He got some of the ball and some of the Brazilian winger’s ankle and he was shown the red card.
Madrid scored from the free-kick. Kroos didn’t have much of an angle but he curled the ball on to Casemiro’s head and he powered it past Mignolet.
There were now five minutes left of normal time. Madrid kept pouring forward but even with one of those heart-stopping last second corners they could not find the winner.