Uefa Champions League Results: Cristiano Ronaldo’s Real Madrid Salvage A Late Win Against Sporting

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Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo and Sporting Portugal’s Sebastian Coates in action

Cristiano Ronaldo and Alvaro Morata struck in the closing minutes to seal a stunning Real Madrid comeback to beat Sporting of Lisbon 2-1 to start their Uefa Champions League defence on Wednesday.

Madrid looked to be heading for their first home defeat in the competition for five years after Bruno Cesar’s low effort three minutes into the second half handed Sporting a thoroughly merited lead.

However, in a frantic finale, Ronaldo’s free kick levelled the game with two minutes remaining before Morata met James Rogriguez’s cross deep into stoppage time to complete a dramatic fightback.

Ronaldo refused to celebrate his goal, but there was no shortage of celebrations just moments later when Morata met Rodriguez’s inswinging cross with a bullet header to deny Sporting in the cruellest of circumstances.

Packed Wembley Stadium see Tottenham get off to losing start

AS Monaco stunned Tottenham Hotspur with a 2-1 victory at Wembley Stadium in their Champions League Group E opener on Wednesday in front of a record attendance for an English team at home in the competition.

Goals from Bernardo Silva and Thomas Lemar silenced the vast majority of the 85,011 fans at the national stadium – Tottenham’s adopted home for this season’s Champions League – before the hosts responded.

Toby Alderweireld halved the deficit with a header shortly before half time and Tottenham were much better after the break.

Yet despite plenty of pressure they were unable to find the equaliser as only their second Champions League campaign began in disheartening fashion.

Dortmund forwards put Legia Warsaw to the sword

Borussia Dortmund spoiled Legia Warsaw’s long-awaited return to the Champions League with a 6-0 away rout of the Polish champion on Wednesday.

The home side, who reached the quarter-finals on their previous appearance in 1995/96, looked out of their depth against Dortmund’s speedy forwards, who were keen to make amends for losing to promoted Leipzig in the Bundesliga on Saturday.

Back in the Champions League after a season away and a summer of upheaval, Dortmund raced into an early lead with three goals in the first 17 minutes of the Group F encounter.

Mario Gotze grabbed his first goal for Dortmund since his return for Bayern Munich in the seventh minute, with a perfectly placed header to Ousmane Dembele’s cross.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang should have made it 2-0 shortly afterward but Warsaw goalkeeper Arkadiusz Malarz twice got the better of him when Christian Pulisic was also in a position to score.

But Sokratis Papastathopoulos scored in the 15th minute when he was relatively free to head in Raphael Guerreiro’s free kick, two minutes before Juan Bartra claimed his first Dortmund goal from close range after Malarz had pulled off three saves to deny Guerreiro, then Aubameyang and Marcel Schmelzer.

Guerreiro made it 4-0 early in the second half after Dembele’s initial effort was blocked, Pulisic set up substitute Gonzalo Castro in the 76th minute, before Aubameyang chipped the goalkeeper to complete Warsaw’s miserable evening in the 87th.

Sevilla hold Juventus in Turin

Juventus striker Gonzalo Higuain was largely anonymous as his new side was held to a disappointing 0-0 draw by Sevilla in their opening group match in the Champions League on Wednesday.

Higuain transferred from Napoli for €90 million (Dh372m) in the summer after scoring 36 goals last campaign to break a 66-year-old Serie A record. He scored twice in the opening 10 minutes of a 3-1 win over Sassuolo on Saturday.

The Argentina forward was kept quiet by a defensive-minded Sevilla side at the Juventus Stadium, although he did go closest to breaking the deadlock shortly before the hour-mark when he headed Dani Alves’s cross against the crossbar.

Higuain almost had a great opportunity with 10 minutes remaining but Sevilla defender Nicolas Pareja managed to get in front of him to clear substitute Miralem Pjanic’s cross out for a corner.

Riyad Mahrez double gives Leicester winning start

Leicester City opened their first Champions League campaign with a comfortable 3-0 victory at Belgian champions Club Brugge on Wednesday, with Riyad Mahrez scoring twice.

The unlikely Premier League champions took their charmed form into Europe, with Marc Albrighton scoring an easy goal after just five minutes. The Brugge defence misjudged a long throw-in and the winger only had to steer the ball into an empty net.

A bad pass forced veteran Timmy Simons to bring Jamie Vardy down near the penalty area in the 28th minute and Mahrez curled the resulting free kick home to make the rest of the match an easy stroll for Leicester.

Mahrez scored his second goal from the penalty spot in the 61st minute, after Vardy had been floored by the goalkeeper on a breakaway.

Copenhagen leave Porto with a point

A second-half header by Andreas Cornelius gave visitors Copenhagen a share of the spoils as they drew 1-1 with Porto in their opening Group G Champions League clash on Wednesday.

The home side went ahead in the 13th minute when Otavio Edmilson dispossessed Copenhagen midfielder Thomas Delaney on the edge of his penalty area before playing a quick one-two with Andre Silva and rifling home the ball.

Striker Cornelius, 23, hit back early in the second half, heading his own mis-hit shot to send the ball looping over Iker Casillas and into the net.

Copenhagen midfielder Jan Gregus was sent off for a second yellow card in the 66th minute but despite a flurry of chances in the final 24 minutes Porto could not make the advantage pay and the game ended in a draw.

Lyon explosive against Dinamo

Lyon enjoyed a memorable Champions League opener in their new stadium after a classy performance by midfielder Corentin Tolisso helped them to a 3-0 win over Dinamo Zagreb in a Group H clash on Wednesday.

Having bid farewell to their old Stade de Gerland ground with three home defeats in Europe’s premier club competition last term, Lyon delighted their fans in Parc OL and should have won by a bigger margin.

Tolisso, 22, opened the scoring with a thumping 13th-minute header and set up the third for striker Gnaly Maxwell Cornet after Jordan Ferri made it 2-0 with a dinked finish early in the second half. Lyon missed a barrage of chances as the visitors barely got out of their own half for long spells.

Dinamo keeper Adrian Semper saved a cheeky back-heel from Cornet in the 10th minute but poor defending left him at the mercy of Lyon’s fluid 3-5-2 formation which had the Croatian title holders chasing shadows all evening.

Dinamo twice hit the bar after the home side took their feet off the gas pedal, with El-Arbi Hilal Soudani missing the target from point-blank range before substitute Mario Situm rattled the woodwork with a fierce shot in the 87th minute.

CSKA Moscow battle back at Bayer Leverkusen

Bayer Leverkusen missed a host of chances and squandered a two-goal lead to open their Champions League campaign with a 2-2 draw at home to CSKA Moscow on Wednesday.

The Russian champions, who had lost on all previous five visits to Germany, stunned the home side with two goals in three minutes to cancel out Leverkusen’s early lead.

Admir Mehmedi put the home side in front in the ninth minute, beating the offside trap to control Benjamin Henrichs’s pass with his first touch and dispatching the ball past Moscow goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev with his next. Hakan Calhanoglu made it 2-0 with an unstoppable chip inside the far post in the 15th minute.

Leverkusen manager Roger Schmidt reacted by bringing on in-form Finnish striker Joel Pohjanpalo for Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez and Charles Aranguiz for Calhanoglu at the break.

Julian Brandt missed a great chance for Leverkusen just after the break, and the home side also had a penalty appeal waved away when Pohjanpalo appeared to have been brought down by Russia defender Vasili Berezutski.

The home side pushed hard for a winner but looked increasingly vulnerable to conceding on a counterattack. Both sides went close in a frenetic finale.

Source: BBC

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