Cristiano Ronaldo was straight back in the goalscoring groove as Real Madrid began the defence of their Champions League trophy with a 3-0 victory over APOEL Nicosia.
Ronaldo is currently serving a domestic ban for pushing the referee after being sent off in the Spanish Supercopa clash with Barcelona last month.
But the Portuguese superstar scored twice on his return – taking his Champions League career goals tally to 107 – and Sergio Ramos added an overhead kick as the Cypriots were swatted aside at the Bernabeu.
What they saidReal Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane : “There are no quiet games. APOEL have experienced players and are not overwhelmed by the Bernabeu; they just went out and played. If you’re not focused, they can hurt you.”
Tweet of the match
Star man – Cristiano RonaldoThis was his first appearance for Real in exactly a month as he continues to serve a five-game domestic ban. But the Portugal star was as sharp as ever in front of goal to score twice and only the woodwork and a flagging assistant deprived him of a hat-trick late on.
Moment of the match
Ronaldo took the headlines but skipper Sergio Ramos scored the goal of the night with a spectacular overhead kick. Ramos started the move by finding Marcelo on the left and continued his run into the APOEL penalty area. Gareth Bale met Marcelo’s cross at the far post and when it looped into the air off a defender there was Ramos to finish brilliantly – his 69th goal for Real. Not bad for a central defender.
Data pointCristiano Ronaldo stole another couple of marches on Lionel Messi in their personal goal-scoring battle. Ronaldo scored two on his return to the Real team to edge ahead of Messi in two categories. Ronaldo’s second-half penalty was his 12th in the Champions League, one more than Messi. And the Portuguese now has 56 home goals in the competition, two more than his rival.
RatingsReal Madrid: Keylor Navas 6, Dani Carvajal 8, Sergio Ramos 7, Nacho 7, Marcelo 7, Casemiro 7, Mateo Kovacic 6, Luka Modric 8, Isco 7, Gareth Bale 7, Cristiano Ronaldo 8. Subs: Toni Kroos (for Kovacic, 25) 7, Dani Ceballos (for Isco, 72) 6, Borja Mayoral (for Bale, 82) 6.APOEL Nicosia: Boy Waterman 6, Praxitelis Vouros 6, Jesus Rueda 7, Carlao 6, Roberto Lago 6, Nuno Morais6, Lorenzo Ebecilio 6, Vinicius 5, Roland Sallai 5, Stathis Aloneftis 5, Igor de Camargo 6. Subs: Agustin Farias (for Sallai, 60) 5, Ghayas Zahid (for Ebecilio 72) 6, Mickael Pote (for de Camargo, 83) 6.
WHO’S UP NEXT?
Real Sociedad v Real Madrid (LaLiga, September 17)
APOEL Nicosia v Anorthosis Famagusta (Cypriot League, September 18)