Here’s what happened in the UEFA Champions League on Tuesday, in case you missed it…
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WHAT STOOD OUT
Ronaldo at it again
Cristiano Ronaldo is making up for a lack of offensive production in La Liga with a glut of goals in the Champions League. The Portuguese star has yet to find the back of the net in Spain, largely because he’s sat out five of the first six games of the season through suspension. But in Europe, he’s been lights out, netting a brace in Real Madrid’s 3-1 road win over Borussia Dortmund on Tuesday. He now has six goals in his last two Champions League games, with all of those goals coming on just seven shots on target!
Hat tricks galore
Ronaldo wasn’t the only player on Tuesday to have a good day at the office in terms of goal scoring. Both Wissam Ben Yedder of Sevilla and Tottenham’s Harry Kane bagged hat tricks in 3-0 wins for their teams. Impressively, Kane scored on a header, with his left foot and his right foot. The Spurs striker has now scored nine goals in his last five games in all competitions.
Man City quietly going about its business
Manchester City registered a 2-0 home win over Shakhtar Donetsk, its second clean sheet of the competition. The Blues top the table in Group F with six points and a plus-six goal difference, and have firmly established themselves as the clear front-runners in the group after only two matches. City also leads the Premier League with five wins and a draw, and has outscored the opposition 21-2 along the way. It’s early days, but Pep Guardiola’s men are looking like legitimate Champions League and Premier League contenders.
After opening the scoring against Feyenoord, Lorenzo Insigne honoured Napoli teammate Arkadiusz Milik, who suffered a knee injury over the weekend, by hoisting the Polish forward’s shirt while celebrating his goal.
Lorenzo Insigne holds up a shirt in support of teammate Arek Milik after scoring against Feyenoord.
— Squawka News (@SquawkaNews) September 26, 2017
In the 18th minute, Real Madrid’s Dani Carvajal delivered an inch-perfect cross from the right into the box for Gareth Bale. The Welshman timed his run perfectly, hitting a beautiful volley while in full stride as he sent his shot into the top right corner past Dortmund goalkeeper Roman Burki.
What a goal from Gareth Bale. pic.twitter.com/uHGIwvpW37
— Football.London (@Football_LDN) September 26, 2017
Real Madrid’s two-goal win over Borussia Dortmund was a lot more competitive than the final score suggested. It also featured some brilliant goals, including Bale’s volley and Ronaldo’s second one that sealed the result for Real. A very entertaining contest, featuring spells of end-to-end action.
A fantastic tifo display from Spartak Moscow fans ahead of their home game against Liverpool.
— Francesco Pietrella (@frapietrella) September 26, 2017
THE GAME WITHIN THE GAME
Napoli took a 1-0 lead into halftime due to the bright attacking play of Insigne and Dries Mertens. But the Italian club also did an excellent job of thwarting Feyenoord through the opening 45 minutes, and barely allowed the Dutch side to get a touch on the ball in dangerous areas of the pitch.
SIX PACK OF STATS
• Insigne’s goal for Napoli was the 400th scored by an Italian player in Champions League history (not including own goals).
• Liverpool has not kept a clean sheet in the Champions League since November 2009 (vs. Debrecen), conceding in each of their last nine games.
• Ronaldo has now scored in 70 different Champions League matches (not including qualifiers), more than any other player.
• Ryan Babel is the first Besiktas player to score in each of his first two Champions League games for the club.
• Ben Yedder is the first Sevilla player to score a hat trick in Champions League/European Cup history.
• Kane is the seventh different English player to score a hat trick in the Champions League (after Andy Cole, Mike Newell, Michael Owen, Wayne Rooney, Alan Shearer, Danny Welbeck).
Stats courtesy of Opta
1) Wissam Ben Yedder, Sevilla: The French striker scored all three goals in Sevilla’s win over Maribor.
2) Harry Kane, Tottenham: The Spurs forward netted a hat trick to join some pretty elite English company (see Six Pack of stats).
3) Cristiano Ronaldo, Real Madrid: Bagged a brace in spearheading Real to a road win over Borussia Dortmund.