Champions League Round-Up: Spurs & City Continue Great Start While Liverpool Get Cold Feet in Moscow

​Manchester City and Tottenham both made it two wins from two in this season’s Champions League but Liverpool were once again dropped points as they were held in Russia.

Harry Kane was Tottenham’s hero as he fired a hat trick past APOEL to send Mauricio Pochettino’s side to a 3-0 win. The England striker now has nine goals in eight appearances for his club this season. 

Next up for Spurs is back-to-back matches against Real Madrid who are also two wins from two. They comfortably saw off Borussia Dortmund thanks to two goals from Cristiano Ronaldo and one from Gareth Bale. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang pulled a goal back for Dortmund, who have lost both their group games 3-1. 

Manchester City continued their flying start to the season with a 2-0 win over Shakhtar Donetsk at the Etihad. 

After a quiet first half, second half goals from Kevin de Bruyne and Raheem Sterling meant that City would not regret a missed penalty by Sergio Aguero. Feyenoord are now cut adrift at the bottom of Group F as they fell to a second straight defeat, losing in Italy to Napoli. Lorenzo Insigne, Dries Mertens and José Callejón were all the scoresheet as Maurizio Sarri’s side won 3-1. 

Manchester City v Shakhtar Donetsk - UEFA Champions League

Liverpool were once again left frustrated in the Champions League as they held in Russia by Spartak Moscow. A free kick from Fernando put Spartak ahead before Philippe Coutinho levelled for the Reds. 

They would then dominate the second half but a number of chances went begging and Jurgen Klopp’s side now face two must win games against Maribor. 

The champions of Slovenia were well beaten in Spain by Sevilla with a hat trick from Wissam Ben Yedder seeing the La Liga outfit to a 3-0 and control of the group. 

In a repeat of the 2004 final, Porto would defeat Monaco by the same scoreline as that night 13 years ago in Gelsenkirchen, 3-0. 

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Vincent Aboubakar scored twice while the former Watford defender Miguel Layún completed the scoring. The other game in Group G would see Beskitas move to six points out of six with a 2-0 win over RB Leipzig. Ryan Babel and Talisca scored the goals which leaves the German side bottom of the group.​​


Borussia Dortmund 1-3 Real Madrid: Bale & Ronaldo Silence Yellow Wall in Champions League Classic

Real Madrid finally broke their Signal Iduna Park hoodoo at the seventh time of asking with a 3-1 over Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League on Tuesday evening

A stunning first-half volley from Gareth Bale opened proceedings, before a brace in the second from Cristiano Ronaldo, with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang installing false hope back into the hosts after splitting the Madrid hero’s double. 

But the 12-time competition winners were just too much for Peter Bosz’s side, who now slip six points behind both the Spanish side and Tottenham Hotspur in Group H after the duo continued their 100% winning starts. 

It was a frantic opening played to a magnitude of noise unrecognisable by any decibel-o-meterbut just as the hosts looked to be taking control Los Blancos had a superb opportunity to silence the Yellow Wall. 

Carvajal capitalised on the Dortmund defence’s lack of pace down the right-hand side before cutting inside with only goalkeeper Roman Burki to beat and both Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo queuing up in the middle. However the 25-year-old decided to go alone, but his finish lacked any conviction and the Swiss custodian was able to make a simple save. 

Just moments later Ronaldo found himself in almost the exact same situation, with the Portugal international supported again by Bale streaming into the area. The 32-year-old, unlike his teammate minutes before, chose for the unselfish option, however a goal-saving sliding tackle from the backtracking BVB defence denied the Welshman a certain opener. 


Following the duo of clear chances Madrid were then almost punished for their poor decision making in front of goal, when Maximilian Philipp was found at the back post from a slightly overcooked Andriy Yarmolenko cross. 

However the 23-year-old’s volley was eventually cleared off the line by a duo of Real defenders, one of which being Sergio Ramos, who, on reflection, seemed to brush the ball away from goal with his arm. 

However, the Spanish side’s counter-attacking warnings finally came to fruition just after the quarter-hour mark thanks to a simply delightful finish from Bale. It was Carvajal again causing the hosts problems before the Spaniard lofted his beautifully-weighted ball into the path of the advancing Wales international, allowing the 28-year-old to dispatch his first-time attempt into the top right-hand corner of Burki’s net and leaving the shot-stopper with absolutely no chance.

Following the opener the visitors then attempted to slow the tempo of the opening exchanges, which they did with great success. However, five minutes before the break referee Bjorn Kuipers was thrown under the spotlight after Carvajal was caught on the wrong side of the advancing  Philipp, who was flying towards the Madrid area in anticipation of Yarmolenko‘s cross. 

Borussia Dortmund v Real Madrid - UEFA Champions League

But the Spaniard clearly yanked the left-sided attacker to the ground just outside the area with the help of a little trip, much to the displeasure of the Yellow Wall, however the referee only saw fit to brandish a yellow card – fortunate to say the least. 

The blockbuster opening 45 ended in-the-same-vein that had been present throughout, with both Ronaldo and Ramos spurning great opportunities to double the Champions League holders’ lead, giving everyone in the stadium, and those watching at home, a much-needed chance to breathe. 


However, the second started at the same blistering pace as the opening half, with the first of many great opportunities coming in just the opening 45 seconds. 

This time is was Dortmund who found themselves with a clear chance to level things up, as both Carvajal and goalkeeper Keylor Navas were caught napping after a dangerous lofted ball into the area from Mario Gotze. 

The World Cup-winner’s cross from deep allowed Yarmolenko to ghost into the area, but, instead of taking the chance himself, the Russian attempted to header back across goal to a supporting attacker, however was only able to find Raphael Varane, who cleared with ease. 

Borussia Dortmund v Real Madrid - UEFA Champions League

But just three minutes later, as is often the case, BVB were then punished for their lack of clinicalness, as Ronaldo doubled his side’s lead. The 32-year-old was found in space in front of goal by wide-man Bale from the left-hand side before sliding the simplest of finishes past the helpless Burki, sending the stadium into silence.

However, both the noise, and the hosts’ spirits were rejuvenated less than 10 minutes later as Aubameyang, who had been kept quiet all evening, was able to force his way in front of Ramos with a late run before latching onto Gonzalo Castro’s cross from the left-hand side with a well-taken volley beating the diving Navas  

Borussia Dortmund v Real Madrid - UEFA Champions League

After getting one back, similarly to the first-half, the tie then slowed down throughout the middle period, but that calm was smashed to pieces by Ronaldo with a thumping strike from an acute angle on the counter attack. 

The attacker, who has now scored 411 goals in 400 appearances, latched onto Luka Modric’s ball over the top before deciding against squaring the ball across the face of goal to the free Marco Acensio and unleashing a thunderbolt past Burki to restore Zinedine Zidane’s side’s two-goal cushion. 

That was the way it stayed until referee Kuipers brought an end to proceedings, in what will always be remembered as a true Champions League classic. 




Chelsea Ace Eden Hazard Builds His Ideal Footballer From Existing Stars & Includes One Odd Choice

​Chelsea talisman Eden Hazard was asked by a French magazine to help come up with the perfect football player by combining attributes from the best of the best to make one super-human star.

The Belgian has played with and against some of the very best in the game, and is a PFA Player of the Year himself, so his credentials for the task are good. However, when picking the best players for a number of set attributes for for France Football magazine (via the Mirror), the 26-year-old made a few controversial choices.

For finishing, Hazard opted for Barcelona goal-machine Luis Suárez, while Karim Benzema was chosen for his impeccable movement.


Fellow Chelsea star Cesc Fàbregas was chosen for his creative vision, while Spurs’ Christian Eriksen got the nod for his exceptional ability at taking set-pieces. For the ‘class’ category, Barcelona icon Andrés Iniesta was picked by Hazard and Real Madrid superstar and current Ballon d’Or holder Cristiano Ronaldo was favoured for his physicality.

All in all, a fairly safe set of selections from Hazard so far, until he took things up a notch with his next selection.

For heading, Hazard took the rather left field option of Crystal Palace front man Christian Benteke. This choice may be down to the fact that they are international teammates, and admittedly Benteke has a very powerful header.

For the final speed category, Hazard rather cheekily picked himself, justifying his choice by claiming: “For my speed, or rather acceleration, it is thanks to my mother, who has a shape that resembles mine.

“She’s a sports teacher, my dad too. I did not even do exercises when I was a kid, that’s also innate. As far as I am concerned, I have this quality of speed over a few metres, not on a long distance.

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“After that, I am quickly tired. But for the first five metres, at the start, I am not bad.”


Toni Kroos Returns to Madrid Squad Ahead of Champions League Clash Following Rib Complaint

​Toni Kroos is set to return to the Real Madrid squad for Tuesday night’s Champions League encounter against Borussia Dortmund after missing his side’s 2-1 victory over Alaves this weekend.

Kroos was absent as Los Blancos returned to winning ways in La Liga on Saturday afternoon due to a rib complaint. Alongside the 27-year-old, on the injury bench, sat left-back Marcelo and striker Karim Benzema (both out with hamstring injuries) as well as Mateo Kovacic (adductor tear).

However, the German international has been recalled to Zinedine Zidane’s 20-man preliminary squad ahead of the club’s visit to Dortmund. 

Real Madrid are looking to secure their third successive Champions League trophy. Kroos played a major part in both previous triumphs, and his return will be welcomed hugely by the Madrid fans.

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The current holders started off their second Champions League defence with an elementary 3-0 win over APOEL earlier in September. Though their first opponent proved a simple task – the same can not be said for the remaining two teams in Madrid’s group.

Tuesday’s opponents Dortmund held the Spanish champions to a draw in both ties when the two teams met in last season’s group stage, and will be keen to get points on the board after being on the receiving end of a 3-1 loss to Tottenham last time out.

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Furthermore, Spurs will prove a fresh challenge for Madrid. Mauricio Pochettino’s men have spent the last two seasons building a strong team capable of competing in the Champions League, and continue to improve as time goes by.


Picking the Best Potential Real Madrid Lineup to Face Borussia Dortmund on Tuesday Night

​Despite Real Madrid’s underwhelming start to defending their La Liga title, they won their opening Group H game in the Champions League and travel to Dortmund aiming to make it two wins in two.

Key players Karim Benzema and Marcelo are out injured, but Los Blancos still have more than enough quality and will hoping that star Cristiano Ronaldo can regain his top form.


  • Navas


​Keylor Navas will start in goal as usual.


  • Carvajal


  • Varane


  • S. Ramos

    S. Ramos4

  • Nacho


​Marcelo’s absence through injury means that Nacho will keep his place on the left side of defence.

Dani Carvajal, Raphael Varane and Sergio Ramos will start at the back as usual and extra focus will be placed on the two centre-backs and how they can handle the pace and trickery of Dortmund Striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.


  • Kroos


  • Casemiro


  • Modric


​Toni Kroos, Casemiro and Luka Modric have all improved significantly since first moving to the Bernabeu and have developed into one of the best midfield trios in the world.

Manager Zinedine Zidane will need Casemiro to keep Nuri Sahin and Mario Gotze quiet so that the Dortmund front three will have has little supply as possible.


  • Isco


  • Ronaldo


  • Asensio


​Karim Benzema has had a frustrating start to the season, with just one goal in six games, but the Frenchman’s injury means that Cristiano Ronaldo will start down the middle.

Wonderkid Marco Asensio and a revitalised Isco will start either side of the Portuguese star and much will be expected of the front three to improve Madrid’s indifferent start to the season.


3 Key Battles That Could Decide Borussia Dortmund’s Clash With Real Madrid on Tuesday Night

Borussia Dortmund invite Real Madrid to Signal Iduna Park on Tuesday evening and will be under increased pressure to get three points against the current Champions League holders.

After losing to Spurs in the opening Group H gameweek, Dortmund could fall adrift of the top two spots with a loss, and here’s three battles that could go a long way to deciding how the game pans out… 

3. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang vs Sergio Ramos

It would be very hard to leave Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang out of any Dortmund-related article, especially as the Gabonese frontman has scored 11 goals in all competitions this season.

Aubameyang’s battle against Sergio Ramos will be particularly key as the Madrid captain is one of the quickest centre-backs in the world and so may be able to negate the former Saint-Etienne striker’s pace advantage to a certain extent.

Ramos also has a reputation of picking up cards easily, so if Aubameyang can draw a few fouls from the Spanish international early on in the game, the Madrid backline could be put under significant pressure from Dortmund’s pacy attacking trio.

2. Nuri Sahin vs Casemiro

Dortmund’s lightning quick strike force led by Aubameyang may grab all the headlines, but Nuri Sahin’s role of anchoring the midfield will prove crucial on Tuesday night.

Sahin has a passing accuracy of 85.7% this season and will be looking to thread the ball through the backline for rapid wingers Andriy Yarmolenko and Christian Pulisic to run on to.

Casemiro is very much the dark horse of the Madrid side and if the Brazilian ball-winning midfielder is able to cut off Dortmund’s link between midfield and attack then the Yellow Submarines could be looking at two successive losses in Europe.

1. Lukasz Piszczek vs Cristiano Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo has endured a tough start to the season by his standards, netting just three times and shooting up the infamous list of players with the most shots without scoring in Europe.

Dropped points against Real Betis, Levante and Valencia means that the defending La Liga champions are currently sitting in 5th place and their poor league form could have a detrimental impact on their performance in the Champions League.

Lukasz Piszczek will be coming up against Ronaldo directly in the right-back role, but the Polish defender has been part of a Dortmund side which has conceded just once in six league games, despite a nervy loss against Spurs in the Champions League a few weeks ago.

Ronaldo is the heart of the Madrid attack and his battle against Piszczek will be a crucial one because unless the Portuguese star can inspire a change of fortunes for Madrid, Los Blancos could be looking at more dropped points in an already poor start to the season. 


Ruud van Nistelrooy & Cristiano Ronaldo Relationship Revealed as Deciding Factor Into Striker’s Exit

​Ruud van Nistelrooy remains one of the most prolific strikers to ever grace European football, but his time at Manchester United is storied as being slightly stained.

The Dutchman left Manchester United in 2006 under poor circumstances, but the exact reason was unknown until now.

Alastair Campbell, Tony Blair’s ex-communications chief and former Labour Party spin doctor, has spilled the beans in his latest batch of diaries (H/T ​The Sunday Times).

Campbell was quite close to Sir Alex Ferguson back then, and revealed that the former United boss decided to let Van Nistelrooy go following various incidents, with the most grave coming in the form of an offensive remark regarding Cristiano Ronaldo.

Having met with Ferguson in France that year, Campbell claimed that the manager was “not sure what was going to happen with Ruud van Nistelrooy.

Manchester United Press Conference

“[He was] very self-centred. The last straw was when he told Cristiano Ronaldo he had found a new dad in Carlos [Queiroz, Ferguson’s assistant] – just after Ronaldo’s dad, who was an alcoholic, had died.

“Carlos asked him to show respect and he said he didn’t respect anyone there. He later apologised but CR was not having it.

“Alex sent van Nistelrooy home when he heard about it later. He was not sure what he was going to do with him.”

The striker would leave for Real Madrid, where he would spend the next four years of his career. He did play one season with Ronaldo at Madrid before moving to Hamburger SV in 2010.

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Van Nistelrooy bagged 150 goals during his five years at Old Trafford, and will always be regarded as a legend over there despite the circumstances under which he left the club.


PHOTO: Real Madrid Star Karim Benzema Was Involved in Weekend Car Crash

​Real Madrid forward Karim Benzema was involved in a vehicular accident on Friday night, according to Spanish paper ​El Mundo.


The Frenchman was left out of Zinedine Zidane’s squad for their match against Alaves, which they won 1-2, with a back injury being reported as the cause.

Benzema was driving on the M-13 motorway in his Audi RS6 when he collided with a Nissan Note. Both vehicles were damaged, but no one was injured.

The report claims that the drivers of both cars were breathalysed and none of them were found to have alcohol in their system.

Friday wasn’t the first time Benzema was involved in an accident. In fact, the striker has had several of those over the years, and this most recent one wasn’t even his first for 2017.

In 2009, he crashed into some barriers in La Finca de Pozuelo; and earlier this year, he was involved in another in Reunion. The Madrd man has also been fined for the offence of driving without a licence, as well as reckless driving.

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The 29-year-old signed a new contract with Los Blancos last week, extending his stay to 2021. Reports claim that a release clause of €1bn was inserted in the deal.


Super Agents Trying to Woo Dele Alli by Promising Big Money Moves to Man Utd or Real Madrid

​Tottenham Hotspur star Dele Alli could be heading for the Wembley Stadium exit door as a number of agents have promised him moves to Manchester United or Real Madrid following the 21-year-old’s decision to cut ties with long-time representatives Impact Sports Management, according to the ​Mirror

The Spurs midfield maestro has reportedly been approached by a number of ‘super agents’ vying for the England international’s signature, including Cristiano Ronaldo’s communicator, Jorge Mendes, and the man who oversees Paul Pogba and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Mino Raiola. 


The extremely talented attacking outlet has been told by a number of affair handlers that they are the only ones who can orchestrate a transfer to either the Red Devils or Los Blancos, should the PFA Young Player of the Year 2017 winner decide to leave the North Londoners

However, Tottenham have continuously stated that Alli is not for sale, and are in the midst of discussing a new deal for one of their key men.

The new contract will reportedly take the Milton Keynes youth academy graduate, who is believed to currently earn around £50,000-£60,000 per week, up into a similar wage bracket to that of fellow Wembley standouts Harry Kane and Hugo Lloris, who receive around £100,000 per week. 

The Englishman seems to have continued his excellent run of form from last season so far this term, netting three times in seven appearances during all competitions, as well as providing two assists. 


Real Madrid Sign Midfielder Marcos Llorente to New 4-Year Deal

​La Liga champions Real Madrid have tied down Spanish midfielder Marcos Llorente to a new four-year extension.

The 22-year-old, who joined Los Blancos from Rayo Majadahonda in 2008 – has garnered quite a bit of attention from clubs around Europe, prompting Madrid to sign him to a new deal to possibly ward off interest.

Italy U21 v Spain U21 - International Friendly

“A statement on the club’s ​official website reads: Real Madrid C. F. and Marcos Llorente have agreed to extend the player’s contract, which will see him remain at the club until the 30th June 2021.”

“Tomorrow, Sunday, at 2pm, Marcos Llorente will appear before the media in the press room of the Santiago Bernabéu stadium.”

Llorente now plays for Spain’s Under-21 side, having given a great account of himself at the Bernabeu in both the youth and senior side.

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Madrid reportedly rejected over 20 offers for him during the transfer window, and will hope that he can become a regular in the first team soon.