Real outclass Liverpool, Arsenal pull off late comeback

2014-10-22 23:09

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Real Madrid earned their first-ever win over Liverpool with a wondrous Cristiano Ronaldo goal spearheading a 3-0 Champions League victory at Anfield.

The roar of one of Europe’s most vociferous crowds was muted tonight when Ronaldo, combining with James Rodriguez, scored the most brilliant of openers in the 23rd minute, his 70th Champions League goal moving him within one of Raul’s all-time record.

Poor Liverpool defending then contributed to Karim Benzema striking twice more for the champions before halftime and left the hosts to try to overturn a three-goal deficit in the Champions League for the first time since the 2005 final.

Carlo Ancelotti, who was in charge of the AC Milan side which threw away that lead in Istanbul, was not about to let history repeat itself in this Group B encounter as his men consolidated to win their third consecutive Champions League game and emphatically put an end to Liverpool’s three-game, 100% winning record over them.

Madrid top the group with nine points, while Liverpool, Basel and Ludogorets are all six points adrift.

An unstoppable last-gasp, long-range shot from defender Yordan Minev gave Ludogorets a 1-0 victory over 10-man Base.

Meanwhile, Arsenal struck twice in the last two minutes for a smash and grab 2-1 victory away to Anderlecht to earn three vital points.

The Londoners produced a lethargic display and were trailing to Andy Najar’s 71st-minute header before Kieran Gibbs equalised after 89 minutes and then Lukas Podolski smashed in a close-range winner.

It was tough luck on Anderlecht who had seemed on course for a first victory in the competition in 11 attempts.

Arsenal remain in second place with six points behind Borussia Dortmund.

Dortmund trounced Galatasaray 4-0, with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scoring twice in the first 18 minutes.

In other results, Koke scored one goal and had a hand in three more as Atletico Madrid secured their biggest Champions League victory with a 5-0 drubbing of Swedish side Malmo; Olympiakos claimed another impressive scalp on home soil after Pajtim Kasami’s clinical strike gave them a 1-0 win over Juventus.

Benfica picked up their first Champions League point after a petulant goalless draw against Monaco in Group C, helped by a glaring miss from the hosts early in the game.

Monaco forward Lucas Ocampos had an open goal at his mercy but contrived to fire over the crossbar from six metres after Dimitar Berbatov rolled the ball to him in the fifth minute.

In the other Group C match, Bayer Leverkusen beat Zenit St Petersburg 2-0, with both goals coming from their defenders as they snapped the Russians’ 16-game unbeaten run in all competitions.

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