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.
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.