MADRID, Sept. 19 (Xinhua) -- Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho praised the competitive spirit of his players following the late fightback which saw his side snatch a thrilling 3-2 win at home to Manchester City in the Champions League.
Late strikes from Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo saw Madrid snatch victory after it looked as if Alexandr Kolarov's 84th minute free kick would snatch the win for City and continue Madrid's poor start to the season.
Mourinho has been highly critical of his players in the opening month of the campaign, questioning the attitude of some of the members of his squad, but he was delighted with the spirit shown late on Tuesday night.
"I am proud of the way the people enjoyed the game and the way in which we won it. Madrid can lose, but only when we fight like animals," said Mourinho, who said that the result had helped.
"Recover the team," although he added, "I hope they do not disappear again."
"The players understood they have a compromise with the team and it is the first time that they have gone home feeling tired. That is Real Madrid and that is what it means," said Mourinho, who admitted he did not know whether the result meant a definitive end to his side's early season crisis.
"We played like that at home to Barca in the Supercup..." he commented.
Meanwhile Malaga coach, Manuel Pellegrini was another happy man after his side debuted in the Champions League with a thrilling 3-0 win at home to Zenit St Petersburg.
Izco was the star for Malaga opening the scoring after three minutes and sealing the win with the third goal of the night 15 minutes from time.
"We played really well and it was a pleasure to give the fans a show like that one," said Pellegrini.
"Izco has a great future and a brilliant career ahead of him. We don't know where he is going to end up, but the most important thing now is that he is here with us," he said, before urging caution.
"It is hard to know where this team can end up, as there is a long way to go, so we should not be over confident," said Pellegrini.