Cristiano Ronaldo seized the chance to dominate in Gareth Bale’s absence by scoring twice as Real Madrid crushed FC Copenhagen 4-0 at the Bernabéu on Wednesday night.
Ronaldo scored with two headers; first he rose as if on a pogo stick to nod down Marcelo’s long cross in the 24th minute, then he finished off a fine move in the 65th. It was his 100th game in European competition, and he now has five goals in two Champions League games this season.
Angel Di Maria made up for several first-half misses by also scoring a brace as Real shrugged off the disappointment of Saturday’s 1-0 derby defeat to Atletico Madrid.
Bale is racing to make Real’s first Clasíco showdown of the season with Barcelona in just over three weeks’ time as he struggles to recover from an injury to his left thigh.
The Wales winger has been hampered by injury since completing his world-record transfer from Tottenham Hotspur in August, appearing in only two league matches and one in the Champions League for Real Madrid. But manager Carlo Ancelotti said: “We are not worried, but he was not able to play today due to a small problem.
“The scan didn’t show anything special, he has just to recover his condition because his pre-season was not so good. Now we have time because there is a two-week break and I think he will be ready then.
“It is normal that he is not happy because he wants to play, but it is not a big problem because he will have time to play when there is no risk of injury.”
Bale will sit out the trip to Levante this weekend and his club will then request he misses international duty with Wales and also avoids the first weekend of action after the international break. That would give him the option of returning for Madrid’s meeting with Barcelona on Oct 27 – if fit.
Roberto Mancini’s Champions League record played a big part in costing him his job at Manchester City, but he made a creditable start in his new job at Galatasaray.
In charge for just two days, the Turkish side snatched a late equaliser at Juventus, leaving opposite number Antonio Conte fuming.
Mancini, who barely had time to meet his players before the Group B game, watched the Turks take a surprise lead when Didier Drogba took advantage of a series of errors in the 36th minute.
Juventus struggled until Arturo Vidal equalised from a controversial penalty in the 78th minute, and then Fabio Quagliarella headed the Serie A champions in front three minutes from time. But the hosts relaxed a minute later and allowed Drogba to outjump the defence and head the ball into the path of substitute Umut Bulut, who silenced the crowd by firing home.
While Conte shook his head in disbelief, Mancini was pleased, though he did say: “The penalty was a little strange. I don’t think it was a penalty.”
He must have been happy with the subdued display from Carlos Tévez, though – the duo had a chequered relationship at the Etihad.
At the Parc des Princes Paris Saint-Germain moved to six points and top spot in Group C after their 3-0 win over Benfica.
The wealthy Parisians indicated that they are genuine Champions League contenders with a stunning first-half display thanks to superbly-worked goals scored by Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Marquinhos, and then another effort by the irrepressible Swede.
Benfica tread water on three points, ahead only on goal difference from Olympiakos, who defeated Anderlecht by an identical scoreline. Striker Kostas Mitroglou scored a hat-trick with goals in the 17th, 56th and 72nd minutes.
A howler by goalkeeper Matus Kozacik, letting a back pass from Radim Reznik slip under his foot into the net, helped CSKA Moscow beat Czech team Viktoria Plzen 3-2 in Group D.
The error in the 78th minute at Petrovsky Stadium in St Petersburg put the Russians 3-1 up before Marek Bakos pulled one back in added time for the visitors. A fourth-minute goal from Frantisek Rajtoral had given Plzen an early lead, but it was soon overturned by strikes from Zoran Tosic in the 19th and Japan’s Keisuke Honda 10 minutes later.