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Rediff.com  » Sports » Champions League PIX: Real crush APOEL; English clubs off to good start

Champions League PIX: Real crush APOEL; English clubs off to good start

September 14, 2017 09:38 IST

A summary of all the Champions League matches played across Europe on Wednesday

Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates scoring the first goal against APOEL Nikosia during their UEFA Champions League group H match at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu in Madrid on Wednesday

IMAGE: Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates scoring the first goal against APOEL Nikosia during their UEFA Champions League group H match at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu in Madrid on Wednesday. Photograph: Denis Doyle/Getty Images

An imperious Cristiano Ronaldo struck twice on his first competitive start of the season as Real Madrid beat APOEL Nicosia 3-0 on Wednesday to get their quest for a third successive Champions League crown off on the right note.

Ronaldo has been banned from domestic football since August for pushing a referee and only needed 12 minutes to get back amongst the goals in the competition where he is the all-time top scorer, meeting Gareth Bale's low cross to arrow home.

IMAGE: text here. Photograph: text here.

The Portuguese struck the underside of the crossbar early in the second half then moments later hit his 109th Champions League goal by powering home from the spot after APOEL's Spanish defender Roberto Lago was harshly penalised for handball.

Captain Sergio Ramos rubber-stamped what was a routine victory for Madrid over the Cypriot champions with a scrappy overhead kick in the 61st minute.

Ronaldo was denied another penalty and a potential hat-trick when he was tripped in the area but his appeals went unnoticed, while late in the game he had a goal chalked off for a clear offside.

Ronaldo also strayed offside in injury time as he sent the ball across to Borja Mayoral, whose tap in was also ruled out.

The Portuguese still has one game left to serve of his five-game domestic ban and will miss Sunday's trip to Real Sociedad.

Sevilla equaliser leaves Liverpool ruing penalty miss

Liverpool's Roberto Firmino and Sevilla’s Simon Kjaer vie for possession

IMAGE: Liverpool's Roberto Firmino and Sevilla’s Simon Kjaer vie for possession. Photograph: Phil Noble/Reuters

Liverpool paid a heavy price for a first-half penalty miss as Sevilla grabbed a late equaliser to earn a 2-2 draw in their Champions League group E opener at Anfield on Wednesday.

The Premier League side had been cruising after overcoming the shock of Wissam Ben Yedder's fifth-minute goal to lead 2-1 at halftime.

But Roberto Firmino, who had scored Liverpool's first on 21 minutes, struck a post with a penalty just before the break, shortly after Mohamed Salah had put them ahead.

Liverpool had only themselves to blame after dominating most of the first half and frequently threatening on the break in the second.

Sevilla scored from their first effort on goal when Dejan Lovren failed to deal with Sergio Escudero's cross from the left and Ben Yedder tapped home from close range.

Georginio Wijnaldum fired wide from 20 metres, before Sadio Mane's long-range effort was saved by goalkeeper Sergio Rico.

Firmino headed just over before grabbing Liverpool's equaliser on 21 minutes with a tap-in following good work from Alberto Moreno.

Emre Can squandered yet another chance for the home side before Salah eased any raw nerves with Liverpool's second -- a shot from 25 metres that took a wicked deflection off Simon Kjaer.

Four minutes before halftime Liverpool had an opportunity to put the game beyond the Spanish when Nicolas Pareja fouled Mane and Firmino stepped up to take the penalty.

He sent Rico the wrong way but his shot struck the post and bounced to safety.

Sevilla's persistence was rewarded when Correa shot beyond Loris Karius for the equaliser. Philippe Coutinho received a standing ovation from the Anfield faithful when he came on as a substitute on his first appearance since asking for a transfer. Gomez was sent off for a second booking in stoppage time.

City thrash Feyenoord

Feyenoord's 'keeper Brad Jones looks dejected after Manchester City's John Stones scores their fourth goal

IMAGE: Feyenoord's 'keeper Brad Jones looks dejected after Manchester City's John Stones scores their fourth goal. Photograph: Carl Recine/Action Images via Reuters

Striker Sergio Aguero scored his 50th goal in European club competitions as ManchesterCity romped to a record 4-0 victory over Feyenoord in their Champions League Group F clash at De Kuip on Wednesday.

Defender John Stones bagged a brace of headed goals and Brazilian forward Gabriel Jesus netted the other as City inflicted the heaviest-ever home defeat in UEFA club football on the Dutch champions and former European Cup holders.

Aguero reached his milestone with a typically clinical finish from Kyle Walker’s cross as City made a fast start to the game, scoring three times in the opening 25 minutes to stun their hosts and kill off the contest.

Feyenoord, playing in the Champions League group stage for the first time in 15 years, never seriously troubled City goalkeeper Ederson who had recovered sufficiently to play, albeit with a rugby-style scrum cap, after receiving a boot to the face from Liverpool’s Sadio Mane in a 5-0 Premier League win on Saturday.

Stones had the visitors in front inside two minutes when he headed David Silva’s cross from a short corner through the legs of Feyenoord midfielder Tonny Vilhena at the back post.

Aguero’s precise finish doubled City's advantage eight minutes later as they peppered the Feyenoord goal with shots and starved the home side of possession.

They were rewarded with a third goal when in-form forward Jesus tapped home after Benjamin Mendy’s fierce drive from outside the box was only parried by Feyenoord goalkeeper Brad Jones.

The visitors deservedly got their fourth as they kept up the pressure on the home defence, who again lost concentration from a City short corner and allowed Stones to this time power his header into the net from Kevin De Bruyne’s cross.

Kane double helps Tottenham to victory over Dortmund

Tottenham's Harry Kane celebrates scoring their third goal against Borussia Dortmund in their home game at Wembley Stadium

IMAGE: Tottenham's Harry Kane celebrates scoring their third goal against Borussia Dortmund in their home game at Wembley Stadium. Photograph: Darren Staples/Reuters

Harry Kane struck twice as Tottenham Hotspur made a flying start to their Champions League campaign with a 3-1 win over Borussia Dortmund in their Group H opener at Wembley on Wednesday.

The England striker made sure there was no repeat of last season’s home woes in the competition with his side’s second and third goals after Dortmund’s Andriy Yarmolenko had cancelled out Son Heung-min’s opener in a frantic start.

Kane had failed to find the net in August before scoring twice for England against Malta and twice at Everton at the weekend and he showed he is back to his razor-sharp best with a fine left-foot finish in the 15th minute.

He then slotted his second on the hour mark to double his Champions League tally to four and, more importantly, seal only Tottenham’s third win in 13 matches at Wembley where two defeats in the competition last season proved so costly.

The only blemish on the night for Spurs was centre back Jan Vertonghen’s dismissal in stoppage time.

It was not a night for latecomers at Wembley with three goals in a breathless opening 15 minutes.

Tottenham went ahead after four minutes when Son burst down the left and with keeper Roman Burki flashed home a left-foot shot that crept in at the near post.

In the 11th minute, experienced Ukrainian Yarmolenko, signed last month from Dynamo Kiev, equalised in stunning fashion.

After a neat one-two with former Manchester United midfielder Shinji Kagawa he looked up and curled an unstoppable shot into the top corner of Hugo Lloris’s goal.

Then Kane shrugged off the weak challenge of Omer Toprak and advanced into the area before lashing a left-foot shot across Burki who again probably could have done better.

Tottenham finally got the two-goal cushion they needed on the hour when Christian Eriksen slid in Kane on the left edge of the area and the striker’s left-foot shot took a slight deflection before nestling in the far corner. Home keeper Hugo Lloris then saved well from Aubameyang while Kane almost grabbed his hat-trick.

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