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Rediff.com  » Sports » Champions League PIX: A special night of records and own-goals!

Champions League PIX: A special night of records and own-goals!

Last updated on: October 01, 2015 10:53 IST

Ronaldo equals Raul's Real Madrid record, while Morata emulates Del Piero after scoring in five consecutive matches

Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates scoring the opening goal against Malmo FF during their Champions League Group A match at Malmo New Stadium in Malmo, Sweden on Wednesday

Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates scoring the opening goal against Malmo FF during their Champions League Group A match at Malmo New Stadium in Malmo, Sweden on Wednesday. Photograph: Anders Wiklund/TT News Agency/Reuters

It was not one of his more brilliant nights but Cristiano Ronaldo managed to shake off the Malmo defence to score twice and edge closer to becoming Real Madrid's greatest goal-poacher on Wednesday.

Champions League PHOTOS: Manchester clubs record hard-fought victories

Having netted his 81st and 82nd Champions League goals against the Swedish side, Ronaldo is now tied with Raul as the club's top scorer of all time with 323 goals.

"I am so happy and proud to beat the record for Real Madrid, it's fantastic," Ronaldo told broadcaster Viasat.

"The most important thing is to win. Six points, we are top of the group."

Well-shackled for most of the night by the dogged Malmo defence, Ronaldo only sporadically lit up the Swedish night with his brilliance. Thankfully for Madrid, it was enough to secure all three points and take them to the top of Group A.

"It says something about how good he is," said Malmo defender Anton Tinnerholm, who had most of the responsibility for marking Ronaldo.

"Even when he has a bad day, he can still decide games."

Real Madrid's Nacho (left) wins the ball in a challenge against Malmo FF's Markus Rosenberg 

IMAGE: Real Madrid's Nacho (left) wins the ball in a challenge against Malmo FF's Markus Rosenberg. Photograph: Anders Wiklund/TT News Agency/Reuters

Coach Rafael Benitez did not want to be drawn into the debate about who is the greatest goalscorer in Madrid's history, but Ronaldo's speed in catching Raul's mark leaves little doubt.

"That's a question for others to answer, but I'm very happy that the team won, that we kept a clean sheet, that we took three points, that Ronaldo scored two goals and (equalled) a record," he told a news conference.

"We have seen many great goalscorers in history but he managed to do it in less games."

It has taken the Portuguese phenomenon just 308 games to rival Raul's haul of 323 strikes, a jaw-dropping ratio of goals per game.

It could have been more when the Malmo defence, reduced to 10 men after the sending off of Yoshimar Yotun, tired.

But Malmo goalkeeper Johan Wiland stood firm, prompting Ronaldo to have a word with him after the final whistle.

"He came up to me after the game and asked 'why did you keep saving my shots?' He wanted to score a hat-trick," Wiland told reporters.

"In reply, I asked him why he kept scoring goals against me. Then we laughed and hugged."

Wiland is not the first goalkeeper to have asked Ronaldo that question, and he most likely won't be the last.

Morata equals Del Piero as Juventus new boys find their feet

Juventus Alvaro Morata celebrates after scoring against Sevilla during their Champions League group D match at Juventus stadium in Turin on Wednesday

IMAGE: Juventus Alvaro Morata celebrates after scoring against Sevilla during their Champions League group D match at Juventus stadium in Turin on Wednesday. Photograph: Giorgio Perottino/Reuters

Striker Alvaro Morata urged Juventus to carry their continental form back to Serie A after he equalled club great Alessandro Del Piero’s record of scoring five goals in five consecutive Champions League matches on Wednesday.

Juve saw off Sevilla 2-0 to take control of Group D with a maximum six points, having registered back-to-back victories in their opening fixtures.

Morata opened the scoring on 41 minutes when he leapt above Marco Andreolli and Timothee Kolodziejczak to head a superb cross from stand-in right-back Andrea Barzagli past the helpless Sergio Rico.

In finding the net Morata, who scored the winner against ManchesterCity in Juventus’ Champions League opener, equalled Del Piero’s record, which was set in the 1995-96 season.

“We are happy but now I have to work hard to score in Serie A,” Morata told the Gazzetta dello Sport.

Juventus’ fine form in the Champions League comes in contrast to their struggles in the Italian top flight, where they have managed only one victory in their opening six fixtures.

However, there were indications against Sevilla that new signings such as Paulo Dybala and Simone Zaza are beginning to find their feet in Massimiliano Allegri’s new-look side.

Beyond Zaza and Dybala, new addition Sami Khedira was an influential presence in the heart of the midfield after making his first competitive appearance for Juventus since moving from Real Madrid during the recent transfer window.

The 28-year-old offered composure and the kind of stability that has been lacking in the team’s disappointing performances in Serie A so far this season.

Juan Cuadrado, who moved to Turin on loan from Chelsea, was an electric presence on the right flank, and combined superbly with Khedira on 17 minutes to set up Dybala, only for the Argentine forward to send a curling shot just wide of the Sevilla goal.

Three own goals as Astana and Galatasaray draw 2-2

Astana's Georgi Zhukov (right) challenges Galatasaray's Sinan Gumus (centre) as referee Martin Strombergsson watches during their Champions League group C match at the Astana Arena stadium in Astana, Kazakhstan, on Wednesday

IMAGE: Astana's Georgi Zhukov (right) challenges Galatasaray's Sinan Gumus (centre) as referee Martin Strombergsson watches during their Champions League group C match at the Astana Arena stadium in Astana, Kazakhstan, on Wednesday. Photograph: Shamil Zhumatov/Reuters

Resilient Astana scored their first Champions League goals -- both by opponents putting through their own net -- and collected their first point in a 2-2 draw with Galatasaray in a match that featured three own goals in the last 13 minutes on Wednesday.

Galatasaray midfielder Bilal Kisa marked his first appearance in a European competition match when he opened the scoring in the 31st minute of their Group C match, sending the ball into the bottom right-hand corner with a spinning left-footed shot from more than 30 metres out.

The goal came from a pass by Wesley Sneijder who narrowly failed to open the scoring in the fourth minute and then had two more scoring chances before the break.

Lukas Podolski also had a chance to double Galatasaray's lead just before halftime, but fired straight into the hands of Astana goalkeeper Nenad Eric.

The game really came to life in the closing stages and Astana pulled level after 77 minutes when Hakan Balta put through his own net when Galatasaray keeper Fernando Muslera parried a shot right on to him and then could not stop it going past him for the equaliser.

Astana's joy was short-lived though as their goalkeeper Nenad Eric scored an own goal in the 86th minute when he turned a cross-cum-shot from Sinan Gumus over his own goal-line.

With 88 minutes showing on the clock, Muslera punched out a cross but only as far as Roger Canas, standing at the edge of the area.

His first-time header was met by defender Lionel Carole but instead of clearing he sliced the ball into his own net to make it 2-2.

Atletico Madrid and Benfica were meeting in the other group match later.

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