Champions League Roundup: Ronaldo, Kane Score Twice, City Eases Past Feyenoord
Goals, goals and more goals arrived on Wednesday as an entertaining evening brought mouthwatering action across Europe. Cristiano Ronaldo took full advantage of his return to action and scored two goals for Real Madrid against APOEL FC, while Harry Kane also claimed a brace in Tottenham's 3-1 victory over Borussia Dortmund. Elsewhere, Pep Guardiola must have been ecstatic with his team's performance as Manchester City defeated Feyenoord 4-0, showing no signs of slowing down after their 5-0 league victory over Liverpool last weekend.
In other matches, Shakhtar Donetsk and its heavy South American offense, won 2-1 against Napoli while RB Leipzig and NK Maribor grabbed points at home against Monaco and Spartak Moscow, respectively. In Portugal, Porto lost 3-1 to Turkey's Besiktas.
Read up on all the action below.
Returning Ronaldo Fires Real Madrid to Victory
Real Madrid began their defence of the Champions League crown with a stylish 3-0 victory over a stubborn Apoel Nicosia, thanks to a brace from Cristiano Ronaldo and a solitary Sergio Ramos strike.
After a disappointing draw at the Bernabeu against Levante on Saturday, Zinedine Zidane rung the changes for the home side, with the returning Ronaldo starting in a front three, that was without the injured Marco Asensio and Karim Benzema.
Apoel boss Giorgos Donis was without Cyprus international George Efram who picked up and injury in their qualifying round victory over Slavia Prague, meaning 20-year-old Roland Sallai was given his Champions League debut following his goal on Saturday.
As expected, Los Blancos started the game of the front foot with the first clear chance falling to Gareth Bale - as he headed wide. Roberto Lago then forced Keylor Navas into a routine save as his speculative effort from range was tipped over from the Costa Rican.
The Cypriot side grew in confidence from Lago's effort and committed more men forward, but were caught out in the 12th minute when a Madrid counter attack saw Bale drill a low cross in for the returning Ronaldo to slot home past Boy Waterman.
Two minutes later, Ronaldo went close to doubling the home side's lead when he met another Bale cross but could only direct his effort into the side netting. A stop start next 15 minutes followed after an injury to Mateo Kovacic saw him replaced by Toni Kroos.
Madrid were finding it hard to breakdown a stubborn and disciplined Apoel team with Ronaldo again coming close from Bale's superb first time cross, and Kroos saw his effort from 20 yards deflected wide.
Ronaldo looked the biggest threat in his first match since his three-match suspension and dragged an effort wide following good work from Isco, and then saw his penalty appeal fall on deaf ears moments before the half time whistle.
The second half began in frantic fashion with Ronaldo rattling the bar from a Dani Carvajal cross, before the Portugal captain confidently doubled his side's lead from the penalty spot after Lago was adjudged to have handled Bale's cross.
Isco then saw his effort thwarted by Waterman, with Ronaldo again feeling he should have had a penalty under the challenge of Lago, as Madrid started to stamp their authority.
Following the Madrid onslaught in the opening stages of the second period, the away side began to sit deeper in order to keep the scoreline respectable, allowing Zidane's side more space and time on the ball.
On the hour mark, Ramos added his name to the scoresheet when he acrobatically turned home Bale's header. Ronaldo was then denied his hat-trick by Waterman after Isco fed the four time Ballon d'Or winner, before the Spaniard drilled a low effort wide of the far post.
Igor de Carmago then saw his effort go wide for Apoel following good work down the left hand side from Efstathios Aloneftis as the Cypriot side searched for a unlikely route back into the game with 15 minutes to go.
Ronaldo thought he had his third with five minutes to go after Luka Modric superbly beat his man and fired in a cross, to the forward who tapped home only to be denied by the offside flag. As Madrid comfortably saw out the game, to start their campaign in the best possible fashion.
Tottenham's Wembley Woes End as Kane Double Inspires Win
Tottenham Hotspur finally ended their Wembley Stadium hoodoo with a 3-1 win over Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday night, thanks partly to another sensational performance from Harry Kane.
The 24-year-old played a huge role in all that was positive from Spurs throughout the evening, including picking out Son Heung-min in the opening exchanges to allow the South Korean to clinch his first Champions League goal of the season.
That was before the Englishman grabbed an expertly taken brace himself, following the visitor's Andriy Yarmolenko dispatching a wonder-strike to level things up after 10 minutes.
But even though it was a second stand out performance from the prolific talisman this week, and the fact Dortmund will certainly feel aggrieved after they were denied a second equaliser due to the linesman ruling out a perfectly legal goal, the biggest talking point of the evening has to be Tottenham's courageous victory at their troublesome temporary home - which leaves them level on points with Group F leaders Real Madrid.
The hosts settled into the game quickly and grabbed the perfect start, with Son finding the back of the net inside four minutes.
The 25-year-old was released into acres of space down the left-hand side thanks to a beautifully timed through ball from Kane, before beating the quickly-retreating defence with some impressive trickery and smashing home from an improbable angle, rocketing his effort past the poorly positioned Roman Burki at the near post.
However, after taking the lead Spurs were then pressed back into their own half for a sustained period, and the visitors quickly found themselves level thanks to a piece of individual brilliance.
Yarmolenko, who was making his first start for Dortmund since joining the German side from Dynamo Kiev earlier this summer, capitalised on a scrambled clearance from Tottenham’s defence before releasing an absolute thunderbolt from range, leaving Hugo Lloris with no chance.
But the Premier League side were not to be outdone, and just five minutes later Kane hammered the north Londeners back into the lead with an almost carbon copy of Son’s opener, after bulldozing his way through the visitor’s defence.
The 24-year-old frontman found space on the left-hand side after a long ball over the top of the Dortmund defence before driving into the area and again beating Burki at the near post, the second time the custodian’s positioning had let his side down in the opening quarter of an hour.
As the half went on Spurs found themselves on the back foot for the most part, with Mauricio Pochettino's side left grateful both Christian Pulisic's and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's final ball lacked precision.
Both pacy attackers combined on a number of occasions from either side of the Whites' area, but neither were able to find one another for the simplest of finishes when it counted.
After the break the visitors again started shaky, with Tottenham spurning two fantastic opportunities in the opening five minutes. The first fell to Kane, who was played through in on goal before skying his effort way over the bar, deciding to ignore the better positioned Son alongside him.
But just moments later it was the South Korea international's turn to waste a great chance by lifting his effort over the top of Burki's crossbar, after trying to bend his attempt around the 26-year-old Swiss goalkeeper.
As is often the case when a side waste a number of opportunities it comes back to haunt them, and that is what should have happened to the hosts, but for an incorrect decision from the linesman.
Aubameyang found himself unmarked at the back post and latched onto a well-delivered cross before turning his effort expertly past Lloris, only for the touchline official to somehow rule the 28-year-old's perfectly legal goal out, playing a huge part in maintaining Spurs' lead.
If that wasn't bad enough for the Bundesliga outfit they were then almost instantly punished by the star of the night, Kane, whose well-taken finish fashioned the breathing space the north Londeners had craved.
The England international was fed on the edge of the area before creating space for himself with a fine touch and dispatched his shot past the reach of the Dortmund custodian following a slight deflection from the attempted block of Lukasz Piszczek.
As the final 20 minutes ticked away Tottenham were able to exploit the tiring visitors by creating numerous clear cut chances, however, the hosts were unable to make any of their opportunities count.
But the tie finished on a slightly sour note for Spurs, after Jan Vertonghen was sent for a slightly earlier exit than his teammates after picking up a second yellow card after the 30-year-old's flailing arm seemed to catch substitute Mario Gotze in the face.
However, the North Londeners will have left Wembley satisfied after securing only their second victory under the national stadium's arch in 12 attempts, something they will hope they can continue.
Stones Bags Double as Manchester City Dominate Against Feyenoord
Manchester City continued their fantastic form by claiming an important victory on matchday one in the Champions League. Traveling to De Kuip to face Giovanni van Bronckhorst's Feyenoord, the Citizens claimed a comfortable 4-0 win against the reigning Eredivisie champions.
Pep Guardiola's side got off to the perfect start after taking a fortuitous lead inside two minutes. A short corner gave David Silva space to float a ball into the box which was met by John Stones, directing the ball towards the far post.
Despite the best efforts from Tonny Vilhena, the Dutchman responsible for scoring Feyenoord's only goal when City's Manchester rivals lost at De Kuip last season, the ball trickled through his legs and into the back of the net - Manchester City registering their quickest European goal ever.
Just five minutes later, Gabriel Jesus had a looping header cleared off the line by Brazilian defender Eric Fernando Botteghin. Ex-Aston Villa midfielder Karim El Ahmadi tried rallying De club aan de Maas after a nervous start, however, he couldn't stop Sergio Agüero doubling City's advantage before the 10-minute mark.
After a stunning passing move, Agüero's clever movement allowed him to get on the end of a low Kyle Walker cross and the Argentine striker placed the ball past former Liverpool keeper Brad Jones.
Manchester City began to ease off and allowed Feyenoord to get a foothold in the game. Ex-Watford winger Steven Berghuis tested the battle-scarred Ederson with a tame effort before the Brazilian keeper showed quick reflexes to deny Michiel Kramer - the Dutch striker tasked with stepping in for the injured Nicolai Jørgensen.
Gabriel Jesus was able to put the game to bed in the 25th minute with the easiest goal he'll ever score in sky blue. After the ball pinballed around in the area, summer signing Benjamin Mendy saw his powerful effort parried away by Jones, the ball dropping to Jesus with an open goal and the exciting young striker calmly poked the ball home.
Having survived the remaining 20 minutes of the first half, Feyenoord introduced creative midfielder Jens Toornstra at half-time - the 29-year-old involved in 24 goals in the Eredivisie last season - but the Dutchman was unable to prevent City extending their lead.
John Stones notched his second goal of the game just after the hour mark in almost identical fashion to his first.
Another short corner between David Silva and Kevin De Brunye opened up space for Stones in the penalty area and City's Belgian talisman picked out Stones perfectly, the England international powering the ball past Jones in the Feyenoord goal.
City saw out the game in comfortable fashion, barely breaking a sweat to deal with Feyenoord attacks and claiming an easy three points in their first Champions League game this season.
Dominant Liverpool Made to Rue Missed Chances as Sevilla Grab Point
Liverpool looked to get back underway in the Champions League on Wednesday night, but unlike the rest of the English teams in the competition, they weren't able to make the most of their many chances against a cagey Sevilla side.
Mohamed Salah went home early from training on Tuesday, but returned to face Sevilla. Another notable inclusion was that of Philippe Coutinho, though only on the bench after a summer of transfer bedlam. Loris Karius also returned for the Reds in goal, with many believing him to be Klopp's choice between the sticks for Champions League games.
Despite his (totally not) controversial red card against Manchester City on Saturday, Sadio Mane returned on Liverpool's left wing, and in the early exchanges looked to stretch Sevilla's back line with his fearsome pace and trickery.
There were questions over the Sevilla that Liverpool were facing would be closer to the side that beat Klopp's men in the 2016 Europa League final, or the side that capitulated against Leicester City in the 2017 Champions League round of 16.
Fans got their answer within five minutes, as Wissam Ben Yedder was given a tap-in, after a litany of errors from Liverpool's midfield and defenders alike.
It was literally the worst possible start, as the visiting side instantly were given something to protect, and could look for the counter.
The Reds looked to strike back quickly, however, and Roberto Firmino headed narrowly over from a corner several minutes later; the potency of Liverpool's attack wasn't raising any questions, at least.
Despite Sevilla's efforts to inject the game with lethargy, Liverpool grew in confidence. Alberto Moreno - who's played in a very un-Alberto Moreno-esque way so far this season - surged forward, played a great one-two with Jordan Henderson, and squared the ball for a simple finish for Firmino to make it 1-1.
Deep-lying defences were so often Liverpool's downfall last year, but Klopp's side had broken the game open again, and had done so with a lot of the game still to be played.
Sevilla upped their game however, after initially looking a little shaken by Liverpool's response. The Spaniards were left cursing their luck however, after Salah somehow pressed and tackled the hulking Steven N'Zonzi. The Egyptian the saw his speculative (if on target) effort take a huge deflection and spiral past Sergio Rico. Undoubtedly lucky, but undoubtedly deserved for Klopp's side.
Without giving Sevilla a window to get back into the game, Liverpool had the chance to strike again, with Nicolas Pareja hand-balling Sadio Mane's flick, before then trying to vertically spoon the Senegal man, with both arms around his waist when the whistle was blown for the penalty.
Firmino was unable to convert, however, and after a stuttered run-up, the Brazilian whacked Rico's left post, having fooled the Spanish stopper.
It was the visitors that started the second half stronger, with several dangerous balls into the Liverpool box being narrowly missed by the dangerous Ben Yedder.
The threat of the Liverpool counter began to hang in the air over Anfield, however, and Sevilla seemed cautious to throw men forward, lest the red army descend on them. As a result, the reds looked more comfortable, keeping the ball more than you might expect for such a pacy side.
Sevilla then suffered the embarrassment of having their manager sent to the stands, as for the second(!) time in 12 minutes, Eduardo Berizzo threw the ball away before a Liverpool throw. He's a grown man, and Sevilla now had to play the last half an hour of (probably) their hardest Champions League group fixture without their manager in the dugout.
Kop chanting "adios" as Sevilla coach Eduardo Berizzo sent to the stands for throwing the ball away (having been warned earlier)— Henry Winter (@henrywinter) September 13, 2017
Sevilla were now well and truly pegged back, at times being forced to sit deeper than they did when they were defending the early lead, which seemed like a long, long time ago at this point.
Klopp's side were made to rue their missed chances on 72 minutes thought, and after some nice interplay with impact substitute Luis Muriel, Joaquin Correa - the visitor's best player on the night - equalised for Sevilla.
Emre Can was then withdrawn for a returning Coutinho, to a politer welcome than might've been expected, even a few weeks ago.
If you thought Sevilla sat deep at 1-0 up, you should have seen them at 2-2. The Spaniards also carried a greater threat on the counter, with Muriel's pace presenting a very real danger to Liverpool's centre backs.
After creating so many chances all game, Liverpool suddenly appeared aimless; the fluid passes that had served them so well for the majority of the game were no longer coming off for them, and Sevilla's midfield began to impose their physicality on the game.
With 90 seconds left on the clock, a hopeful ball into Liverpool's half suddenly saw Muriel through, but he dragged his effort wide of Karius' near post. Liverpool's lack of composure was then further exemplified by Joe Gomez - who'd had a solid match in truth - picking up his second yellow card.
Liverpool will lament not killing the game off when they had a lot of chances to do so, and frustration looked to continued after the final whistle, with Klopp both giving and receiving an earful to and from the Sevilla bench.