bleacherreport.com - 10 days ago
Cristiano Ronaldo Brace Pushes Real Madrid to UCL Win vs. Apoel Nicosia
Denis Doyle/Getty Images Real Madrid began their campaign to win a third successive UEFA Champions League with a comfortable 3-0 win over Cypriot outfit Apoel Nicosia in Group H at the Santiago Bernabeu on Wednesday.
Cristiano Ronaldo, making his first club appearance since August due to an ongoing domestic ban, finished a fine move early on to give Real the lead and then converted from the penalty spot early in the second half. Skipper Sergio Ramos made it 3-0 in the 61st minute with a close-range overhead kick, and despite numerous further efforts from Ronaldo as he searched for his hat-trick, that is how the match ended in Madrid. Spanish football writer Dermot Corrigan provided both starting lineups ahead of kick-off: Real's Keylor Navas was the first goalkeeper called into action as he tipped a swerving long-range effort from Roberto Lago over the bar in the 10th minute. It was as close as Apoel came to netting all night. Two minutes later, Ronaldo had his first goal of the night as he turned home from a tight angle at the far post following a brilliant Gareth Bale delivery from the left. Three minutes later, the Portuguese was almost in again, another fantastic ball from Bale on the left flank setting Ronaldo up for a header, but he could not quite squeeze the effort inside the post. GABRIEL BOUYS/Getty Images The visitors did all they could to frustrate Real and were, at times, successful as they sat deep and defended in numbers.
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