Ronaldo scores brace in Madrid’s 3-0 victory over Apoel
Cristiano Ronaldo scored twice to help Real Madrid open their Champions League campaign with a 3-0 win over Apoel on Wednesday.
The breakthrough came on the counter-attack in the 12th minute as Isco ran past a series of defenders before laying the ball off to Bale, whose low cross through the box came perfectly to Ronaldo, who made the finish look easy.
Madrid were soon dealt a blow however, when Mateo Kovacic injured himself while passing and was replaced by Toni Kroos.
Ronaldo came close to adding a second goal in the 34th minute but couldn’t turn a sliding effort on target, and early in the second half came inches from scoring when his volley hit the crossbar and came down on the goalline.
The Portuguese star pleaded with the fourth official, though goal-line technology showed that only about half the ball had crossed the line.
But his second did come five minutes later after Roberto Lago was adjudged to have handled the ball in the box, and Ronaldo despatched the penalty.
Sergio Ramos added a third goal in the 61st minute after Bale’s header took a high deflection, and the defender adjusted his body to put the ball into the net with an overhead kick, ESPN reports.
Amazing City put four goals past Feyenoord away from home
John Stones scored twice as Manchester City got their Champions League group campaign under way with a commanding win over Dutch side Feyenoord in Rotterdam.
Stones registered City’s fastest ever goal in the competition with a header after two minutes as Pep Guardiola’s men made a perfect start.
Sergio Aguero doubled the lead after 10 minutes, latching on to Kyle Walker’s cross and volleying into the roof of the net to claim his 23rd goal in 41 Champions League games for the club.
Gabriel Jesus netted on his Champions League debut as City went 3-0 up after 25 minutes, the Brazilian calmly slotting into an empty net after Benjamin Mendy’s shot had been palmed out by Brad Jones.
Feyenoord improved after the break but City still had too much for them, Stones adding his second with another header from a corner to wrap up a one-sided win for the Premier League side.
In the other game in Group F, Shakhtar Donetsk beat Napoli 2-1 in Ukraine.
Before the game, Guardiola said City had “to win respect in Europe” after making it past the last 16 just once in seven Champions League campaigns, and failing to win any of their last six away games in the competition while conceding 14 goals.
City will not earn that respect on nights such as this, easing to big wins against limited opposition, but they did what they had to do with efficiency and style.
They were also aided by poor defending by Feyenoord, back in the Champions League for the first since the 2002-03 season, with Stone’s opener trickling in after defender Tonny Vilhena made a comically inept attempt to clear off the line.
Aguero’s fine finish was much more about City’s crisp and clean passing play, but Feyenoord’s defensive shortcomings where there for all to see for Jesus’ strike – the home players stood still as the Brazilian fired home, mistakenly believing he was offside – and Stones’ second.
Feyenoord, managed by former Barcelona and Arsenal defender Giovanni Van Bronckhorst, went into the match on a run of four straight wins at the start of the new Eredivisie season but could pose no threat to the visitors as they slumped to the club’s heaviest ever home defeat in European competition.
Just 28% possession and one shot on target betrayed the hosts’ lack of invention, and Van Bronckhorst’s switch to a back four from a three in the second half perhaps spared them an even bigger defeat.
Red hot Kane bags brace as Tottenham whip Dortmund
Harry Kane scored twice as Tottenham beat Borussia Dortmund to get their Champions League campaign off to a positive start and end their winless run at Wembley.
Kane’s instinct in front of goal was the difference as Spurs were largely forced on the back foot by an impressive German side who dominated territory and possession.
His first goal – a rising angled finish following a determined run down the left – capped a frantic opening 15 minutes in which Son Heung-min’s opener from an angle was cancelled out by a superb curling finish from Dortmund’s Andriy Yarmolenko.
The England forward’s second was a low finish inside the far post on the hour mark to give his side the edge they needed as they overcame the threat of their dangerous and relentless opponent.
However, the home side ended the game with 10 men as defender Jan Vertonghen was shown a second yellow card for catching Dortmund substitute Mario Gotze with a swinging arm.
The visitors can point an accusing finger at the officials, who ruled out a perfectly good goal from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang for offside.
This is just the second win of Tottenham’s tenancy at Wembley, which includes all of last season’s home Champions League group stage games and two Premier League matches this campaign.
It leaves them second in Group H behind Real Madrid, who beat Apoel Nicosia 3-0 in Spain.
Liverpool’s first game in the Champions League since 2014 ended in a draw with Sevilla at Anfield.
In a repeat of the 2016 Europa League final, which the Spaniards won in Basel, Argentine midfielder Joaquin Correa cut through the Liverpool defence and curled home a cool finish to clinch a point.
It had taken Sevilla just five minutes to take the lead as Wissam Ben Yedder tapped in from close range after home defender Dejan Lovren fell over while trying to clear the ball.
Sadio Mane tested visiting goalkeeper Sergio Rico with a low drive as Liverpool looked to get back into the game, and they managed to do so when Roberto Firmino finished off a fine team move from close range.
The five-time winners continued to push forward and were rewarded as Mohamed Salah’s strike looped in via a huge deflection off Simon Kjaer, but then Firmino, presented with the chance to give the home side breathing space, struck a penalty against the post.
Georginio Wijnaldum came close with a low drive in the second half but the English side were punished for not adding to their advantage when they conceded with 18 minutes remaining.
Luis Muriel could have won it for Sevilla in injury time, but shot wide from inside the box, before Reds defender Joe Gomez was dismissed for a second bookable offence.
BBC Sports reports that midfielder Philippe Coutinho, who requested a transfer in the summer, made his first appearance of the season for Liverpool, coming on for Emre Can on 75 minutes.
In the other Group F game, Maribor came from behind with five minutes remaining to draw 1-1 against Spartak Moscow.