Tuesday October 18th, 2016

Premier League champion Leicester City remains perfect in the Champions League, making it three wins in three matches by beating FC Copenhagen to headline Tuesday's action. 

Riyad Mahrez scored the only goal for Leicester, while Porto came from behind to beat Club Brugge in the other game in the group. Jelle Vossen gave Brugge the lead with a superbly calm finish after 10 minutes but Miguel Layun leveled in the second half and Andre Silva won the game with a late penalty.

Legia Warsaw’s miserable Champions League campaign went on as it was beaten 5-1 by Real Madrid. The Polish champion has now leaked 13 goals in three games. Gareth Bale cut in from the right to put Madrid ahead after 16 minutes, his first Champions League goal in 679 days. Four minutes later, Marcelo’s shot was deflected in off Jakub Czerwinski, but within a couple of minutes Miroslav Radovic had converted a penalty. Before halftime, though, Marco Asensio had made it 3-1. Lucas Vasquez came off the bench to volley a fourth and Alvaro Morata added a fifth to complete the rout.

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Borussia Dortmund is atop that group on goal difference after a 2-1 win at Sporting Lisbon. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang showed great strength and then finesse to burst through and give Dortmund a ninth-minute lead and Julian Weigl carved in a second just before halftime. Bruno Cesar pulled one back after an indirect free-kick had been touched back to him but Dortmund, which had U.S. international Christian Pulisic hit the crossbar in the second half, held on in the face of a late onslaught.

Juan Cuadrado got the only goal in Lyon as Juve moved to seven points with a 1-0 win, ahead of Sevilla in Group H on goal difference after Jorge Sampaoli’s side also won 1-0 away to Dinamo Zagreb, Samir Nasri finishing off a breakaway eight minutes before halftime for the lone tally.

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Group E remains the tightest group among the four in action Tuesday. Bernardo Silva’s late equalizer earned Monaco a 1-1 draw at CSKA Moscow, which had taken the lead through Lassana Traore. That kept the French side a point clear of Tottenham, which drew 0-0 away to Bayer Leverkusen.

Here's what caught the eye on the day in the Champions League:

Player of the day: Jan Vertonghen, Tottenham

Tottenham found itself under intense pressure in the second half against Bayer Leverkusen in a high-quality game at the BayArena. Spurs had come to dominate the first half, but a change of shape tipped the game in Leverkusen’s favor. Without the injured Toby Alderweireld, Vertonghen became the leader of the defense alongside Eric Dier, and was a towering presence as Spurs held out for a valuable point.

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Goal of the day: Miguel Layun, Porto vs. Club Brugge

Club Brugge was ahead and seemingly on its way to its first win in the group stage this season when Porto broke midway through the second half. The right-back Mguel Layun charged up in support and seemed set to be caught as Timmy Simons closed him down. But the Mexican opted to shoot from 25 yards and sent his shot flashing into the top corner to make it 1-1.

Buffon immense as tempers fray in Lyon

A strangely spiteful game in Lyon finished with a remarkable victory for 10-man Juventus. As the game grew increasing feisty, Juve’s Mario Lemina was sent off early in the second half after collecting a second yellow card. It wasn’t just the players who lost their tempers, with Pablo Dybala being pelted with projectiles by home fans as he went to take a corner kick.

Gianluigi Buffon saved Alexandre Lacazette’s first-half penalty–the eighth penalty missed in the Champions League this season out of 13 awarded–and made another extraordinary save to turn over a deflected Nabil Fekir shot. Buffon then made another astonishing save to keep out a point blank Corentin Tolisso header.

Juve seemed as though it was hanging on but, with 14 minutes to go, Juan Cuadrado surged into the box from the right and lashed a fearsome shot in at the near post to secure an emphatic three points.

Leicester's Champions League fairy tale goes on

Claudio Ranieri has been quite clear where his priorities lie this season, resting Islam Slimani and Riyad Mahrez for Saturday’s Premier League defeat to Chelsea. The effectiveness of that policy can hardly be doubted. A 1-0 win over FC Copenhagen means Leicester has more points in the Champions League than it does in the Premier League.

Three wins out of three leaves the Foxes five points clear at the top of the group and one win from securing their place in the last 16. It was two of the players Ranieri rested who combined for the goal, with Slimani touching Jamie Vardy’s lofted cross back into the middle for Mahrez to flick in just before halftime. Slimani had a possible second goal ruled out for a borderline offside, but Leicester didn't need it.

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Akinfeev comes close to elusive clean sheet

Not since November 2006–nearly 10 years!–has Igor Akinfeev kept a clean sheet in the Champions League. He was three minutes from doing so Tuesday before being denied with three minutes remaining by a Bernardo Silva equalizer.

When he was younger, the Russia international was compared to the great Lev Yashin, but after suffering a string of serious injuries he never quite developed as it had been hoped he would. He seemed on the verge of his first shutout in 40 European games, though, thanks in part to one remarkable save on Monaco defender Andrea Raggi, who smashed a shot from only eight yards out only to see Akinfeev parry it wide.  

Traore, on loan from Monaco, had followed in the rebound after Danijel Subasic had saved from Zoran Tosic to give CSKA a first-half lead but in the final minutes Silva leveled, finishing calmly after Akinfeev had made a fine left-handed save from Guido Carrillo. The point was secure, but the clean sheet will have to wait.

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