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Roo’s double role in United’s grand start

Ronaldo scores hat-trick in Madrid’s 6-1 win vs Galatasaray; shows he’s the boss in team

Written by ROB HUGHES | London | Published: September 19, 2013 3:39:33 am


MANCHESTER,September 18

Wayne Rooney drew a line under an unsettled few months as he scored twice to chalk up 200 goals for Manchester United in a 4-2 victory over Bayer Leverkusen in their Champions League Group A opener at Old Trafford on Tuesday. Rooney,whose future at the club had been in question after he was left out of key games last season and was courted by Chelsea in the transfer window,scored United’s first and third goals and provided the assist for the fourth.

The England striker put the Premier League champions ahead in the 22nd minute with a close-range volley and had chances to stretch the lead before Leverkusen captain Simon Rolfes levelled after 54 minutes. Robin van Persie re-established the three-times European champions’ lead five minutes later with an acrobatic volley and Rooney made amends for an earlier miss by squeezing home a right-footed shot after a defensive mix-up.

Antonio Valencia made it 4-1 after 79 minutes before Omer Toprak’s late consolation for Leverkusen as David Moyes enjoyed his first taste of managing in the Champions League group stage with a victory.

United,who had not scored a goal in open play in their last three matches,showed an intent to remedy that with an attack-minded lineup as midfielders Shinji Kagawa and Marouane Fellaini made their first starts of the season.

After dominating possession,the hosts seized the initiative when Patrice Evra crossed to an unmarked Rooney,whose volley bounced over Leverkusen keeper Bernd Leno.

Rooney pounced on Leverkusen’s defensive mistake to register his 200th goal for United. He is fourth on the club’s list of all-time leading scorers,led by Bobby Charlton on 249.

Bayern make a Statement

In Munich,Bayern Munich’s opening Champions League match was always going to be a big occasion but the title holders brushed off internal accusations of complacency with a resounding 3-0 home win over CSKA Moscow on Tuesday. Bayern sports director Matthias Sammer had criticised the team’s performance against Hanover 96 on Saturday,claiming the side were “lethargic” and failed to show sufficient passion in the 2-0 win,their fourth in five league games this season.

The Bavarians needed just three minutes to open the scoring with man-of-the-match David Alaba whipping in a superb free kick. Croat Mario Mandzukic,who had earlier hit the post,headed in an Arjen Robben free kick four minutes from halftime and the Dutchman controlled a fine Alaba chip in the box midway through the second half to drill in their final goal.

“We showed what we can do today and that should also put an end to the ongoing discussion,” winger Robben said. Their dominant performance set a new club record of six straight Champions League game victories.

Toure stunner lifts City

In Plzen,Czech Republic,Manchester City demonstrated their intent this season by crushing Viktoria Plzen 3-0 in their opening Group D game. Edin Dzeko,Yaya Toure and Sergio Aguero scored in a 10-minute period early in the second half against the Czech champions. Dzeko put the English side ahead in the 48th minute. Five minutes later Ivorian midfielder Toure produced the moment of the match,cutting inside and unleashing a magnificent swerving shot from 30 metres that flew into the net.

This was City’s first win in seven Champions League games.

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