Michael Essien made his debut for Real Madrid in Tuesday’s Champions League thrilling 3-2 victory at home against Manchester City.
Essien was handed a surprise start by manager Jose Mourinho in an attacking midfield role in his first match of the season.
He made a transfer deadline day switch from the European champions to the Bernabeu and his performance on the night could earn him more playing time.
The on-loan Chelsea player gave a good account of himself but after 65 minutes he had to make way for Mesut Ozil in the 65th minute.
But Real Madrid fell behind few minutes after the substitution.
Yaya Toure burst through the middle of the park for a two-on-two break, before sliding in the Bosnian Edin Dzeko who wrong-footed Iker Casillas for 1-0.
Mourinho responded as he had in previous games at Getafe and Sevilla, with attacking substitutions, by bringing on both Luka Modric and Karim Benzema.
It immediately paid off as Real equalised as Marcelo benefited from extra space to see his third attempt from range take a deflection and loop over Hart.
City took the lead from a set-play, as Aleksander Kolarov’s in-swinging free-kick from the right beat everyone to curl beyond Casillas into the far post.
But, the lead lasted just a minute as Benzema turned on the edge of the area and finished sharply beyond Hart for his first goal in four months.
Real continued to push for the winner and got it as Ronaldo cut in from the left and his bouncing effort fell under Hart and into the net for 3-2 as the game entered stoppages.