Real Madrid reach knockout phase

Ronaldo provides the inspiration for Real as Man City keep their dreams alive in European Champions League.

    Manchester United's 2-0 victory over Otelul Galati pushed the team to a tie at the top of Group C [Reuters] 

    Cristiano Ronaldo scored his 100th goal for Real Madrid as the nine-time winners secured early passage into the European Champions League knockout phase with a 2-0 victory at Lyon. 

    In his 105th match for Madrid on Wednesday, Ronaldo curled in a free kick in the 24th minute and then reached his century from the penalty spot in the 70th after being fouled by Mouhamadou Dabo. 

    "I didn't expect to score my 100th goal so soon," he said.

    "It was important to win and qualify for the next round. We made it. We're calmer now that we've won our first four games." 

    The 26-year-old Portugal forward's former club, Manchester United, went top of Group C with a 2-0 victory over Otelul Galati as Benfica dropped to second with a 1-1 draw with Basel. 

    United's big-spending rival, Manchester City, won 3-0 at Villarreal to climb to second in Group A, which is topped by Bayern Munich who beat Napoli 3-2. 

    Inter Milan extended their Group B lead to four points with a 2-1 victory over Lille, as second-place CSKA Moscow were held to a 0-0 draw by Trabzonspor. 

    'More mature'

    Real Madrid are the only team in the group stage that have won all of their matches and have yet to concede a goal, the team joining defending champions Barcelona and AC Milan in advancing with two games to spare.

    In Lyon, Madrid stifled the hosts in midfield and Ronaldo managed to exploit a crack in the defensive wall from a free kick to place the ball out of the goalkeeper's reach. Ronaldo threatened a couple of times in the second half before firing the spot kick into the middle of the net to make it 2-0. 

    "We're more mature than last year and we're having a good run," he said. "But we must also take things slowly." 

    Madrid top Group D with 12 points, five clear of Ajax, who routed Dinamo Zagreb 4-0 to lead by three points ahead of Lyon. 

    Gregory van der Wiel sent Ajax's opener into the roof of the net from a difficult angle in the 20th after a clever backheel from Christian Eriksen. 

    Miralem Sulejmani doubled the lead five minutes later after finishing off a move started by Siem de Jong, who made it 3-0 in the 64th and Nicolas Lodeiro rounded off the Dutch side's victory in stoppage time. 

    United confident

    At Old Trafford, Antonio Valencia put Man United ahead after eight minutes, tapping in Phil Jones' cross from close range. 

    Fixtures

    Tuesday November 1

     BATE Borisov 1-1 AC Milan
     Zenit 1-0 Shakhtar
     Apoel 2-1 FC Porto
     Arsenal 0-0 Marseille
     Borussia 1-0 Olympiakos
     Genk 1-1 Chelsea
     Plzen 0-4 Barcelona
     Valencia 3-1 Leverkusen

    Wednesday November 2

     Ajax 4-0 Dinamo
     Bayern 3-2 Napoli
     Benfica 1-1 FC Basel
     Inter Milan 2-1 Lille
     Lyon 0-2 Real Madrid
     Man Utd 2-0 Otelul Galati
     Trabzonspor 0-0 CSKA
     Villarreal 0-3 Man City

    Having dropped back into midfield for the match, Rooney found the net from 30 metres in the 87th minute with the shot heavily deflecting off Cristian Sarghi and surprising goalkeeper Branko Grahovac. 

    Man United are level on eight points in Group C with Benfica, who was held to a 1-1 draw by Basel. 

    In Munich, Mario Gomez scored a first-half hat trick for Bayern Munich to withstand Napoli's fight back after a double from Federico Fernandez.

    Both teams finished the match with 10 men. Napoli's Juan Zuniga was sent off in the 70th and Bayern's Holger Badstuber followed in the 77th, both after receiving a second booking. 

    Bayern remain three points ahead of Manchester City, who won away for the first time in the Champions League.

    Yaya Toure scored a goal in each half for City at Villarreal, while Mario Balotelli marked his first appearance in Europe this season with a goal from the penalty spot before halftime after being fouled by Mateo Musacchio. 

    The only bump on the night City experienced came when Roberto Mancini hit his head on the underside of the dugout just before Toure's opener. While the City manager initially refused treatment, he eventually was seen sitting in the dugout with an ice pack on his head. 

    Inter only needs a point from their last two matches to qualify from Group B as the Italian side have a four-point lead over CSKA Moscow. 

    Walter Samuel headed Inter ahead in first half and Diego Milito tapped in another in the 65th. Bottom-place Lille scored a late consolation when Tulio De Melo took advantage of a mix-up in the Inter defence.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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