UCL Roundup: Real Madrid get off mark; Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester City, Paris Saint Germain hit fivehttps://indianexpress.com/article/sports/football/uefa-champions-league-real-madrid-tottenham-hotspur-manchester-city-paris-saint-germain-6083141/

UCL Roundup: Real Madrid get off mark; Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester City, Paris Saint Germain hit five

While Toni Kroos handed Real Madrid their first Champions League win of the season, Robert Lewandowski and Paulo Dybala turned saviours for their respective teams to hand them crucial wins.

Toni Kroos, left, celebrates with teammates. (Source: AP Photo)

Back from international break, UEFA Champions League action, as it is always didn’t take much time to become the talk of the town. From the 13-time-winners finally winning their first match of the season, to a Pole breaking records along with a young Frenchman, to finally, a five-star showing for a flailing club.

GROUP A: KROOS CONTROL GUIDES REAL

Real Madrid managed to get their first win of this season’s Champions League with a 1-0 victory against Galatasaray on Tuesday, courtesy of a goal from German midfielder Toni Kroos.

Eden Hazard cut the ball back to Kroos in the 18th minute, whose side-footed effort found its way into the roof of the net via a deflection. The win means Madrid climb up to second in Group A, but five points behind leaders Paris Saint Germain.

Although the home side tested their illustrious visitors, with Florian Andone forcing under-fire Real goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois into action twice early in the first half, a Gareth Bale and Luka Modric-less Real Madrid got the job done. Kroos marked his 100th Champions League appearance with his second goal of the season to give Madrid the lead.

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Galatasaray pressed for an equaliser but could not find a way past the Spanish side, who held on to claim their first clean sheet in the competition in 11 months.

The Turkish champions are bottom of the group with one point from three games and look all but out ahead of their trip to Madrid on November 6. Meanwhile, Madrid have four points and a break of one week until they face Leganes in La Liga due to their Clasico against Barcelona being postponed from this weekend due to protests in Catalonia.

GROUP A: MBAPPE HATTRICK POWERS PSG

Kylian Mbappe came off the bench to grab a second-half hat-trick and inspired Paris Saint Germain (PSG) to a runaway 5-0 victory at Club Brugge in the Champions League on Tuesday.

The win kept up their 100% record in Group A with the French team on nine points at the halfway mark and on the cusp of qualification for the next phase, a comfortable five points ahead of second-placed Real Madrid.

After Mauro Icardi put PSG into a seventh-minute lead from a Angel di Maria pass, the French champions shifted gears with the substitution of the 20-year-old Mbappe. In the 61st minute, nine minutes after his arrival, he doubled the lead with a smart header to beat goalkeeper Simon Mignolet.

After setting up Icardi two minutes later, the World Cup-winner completed his hattrick by the 83rd minute.

Club Brugge have two points from their three group games and go to Paris for their next Champions League match on November 6.

GROUP B: SPURS RETURN TO FIVE-STAR FORM

Harry Kane and Son Heung-min both struck twice as Tottenham Hotspur rekindled their Champions League hopes with a 5-0 thrashing of Red Star Belgrade on Tuesday.

After suffering their heaviest home defeat in Europe, a 7-2 hammering by Bayern Munich, they bounced back to claim their biggest win in the Champions League.

Once Kane headed in Erik Lamela’s corner after nine minutes and Son’s half-volley, also from a Lamela assist, made it 2-0 after 16 minutes the gloom of a troubling start to the season for Mauricio Pochettino’s team on all fronts began to lift. Red Star responded well to the early setbacks but Son’s second just before halftime made the result a formality.

The excellent Lamela, making his 200th appearance, turned well to curl in a fourth in the 57th minute and Kane’s exquisite finish in the 72nd minute took his Champions League tally to 18 goals in 22 appearances.

The win put Tottenham into second spot with four points, five behind runaway leaders Bayern and one clear of Red Star who they face in the Serbian capital in a fortnight.

GROUP B: LEWANDOWSKI RUNS ONE-MAN SHOW

Bayern Munich needed two goals from their top scorer Robert Lewandowski to sneak past hosts Olympiakos 3-2 on Tuesday and remain top of their Champions League group.

The Greeks scored on the break when Kostas Tsimikas’s cross found Youssef El Arabi at the far post and the Moroccan beat keeper Manuel Neuer.

Bayern, struggling for form since their 7-2 win at Tottenham Hotspur earlier this month, recovered to level with Lewandowski in the 34th minute. He then put them ahead, stabbing in from close range against the run of play in the 62nd for his 18th goal in 13 games in all competitions.

Corentin Tolisso added a third with a curled shot in the 75th before the Greeks cut the deficit with Guilherme’s deflected effort four minutes later.

The win lifted Bayern to nine-point from three games. Tottenham crushed Red Star Belgrade 5-0 to move up to second place on four, one ahead of the Serbs. Olympiakos are bottom with one point.

GROUP C: STERLING SIZZLES IN COMEBACK WIN

Raheem Sterling scored an 11-minute hat-trick and had a hand in all five goals as Manchester City came from behind to thump Italian side Atalanta 5-1 in their Champions League encounter on Tuesday.

Sergio Aguero also scored two in the first half at the Etihad Stadium, but England forward Sterling was the star of the show as the home side made it three wins from three to open up a five-point lead at the midway point of the pool.

Atalanta have now lost all three of their group matches in their debut season in the Champions League, but started brightly and had the lead via a Ruslan Malinovsky penalty. City were ruthless in their response though and drove forward, and got their equaliser six minutes later through Aguero.

After the Argentinian striker helped City take the lead through a penalty, the home side were dealt a blow when makeshift centre-back Rodri limped off with a hamstring problem.

Sterling got the goal his performance richly deserved on the 58th minute, to which he added another five minutes later. His hat-trick was complete when he poked home a Riyad Mahrez cross from close-range on the 69th minute.

City finished the game with 10 men after teenager Phil Foden received a second yellow card on the 83rd minute. Earlier in the other tie of the group, Shakhtar Donetsk was held 2-2 by the visiting Dinamo Zagreb.

GROUP D: DYBALA TURNS SAVIOUR

Paulo Dybala scored twice in three minutes late in the game to give the Juventus a 2-1 win over Lokomotiv Moscow on Tuesday after the Russians had taken a shock first-half lead.

Aleksei Miranchuk stunned the Juventus stadium by putting the visitors ahead after half an hour of the Group D match despite the home side having 70 percent of possession in the first half.

Lokomotiv’s blanket defence frustrated the Serie A champions until Dybala equalised with an exquisite shot from outside the area in the 77th minute and the Argentine struck again three minutes later to complete a dramatic win.

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Juventus stayed level with Atletico Madrid on seven points at the top of the group with Lokomotiv on three and Bayer Leverkusen still to get off the mark. Earlier in the other tie of the group, Alvaro Morata’s late winner was enough to hand Atletico Madrid a win against Bayer Leverkusen.