Two more for Cristiano Ronaldo as holders Real Madrid cruise to victory against Apoel
Uefa Champions League Group H, Bernabeu Stadium - Real Madrid 3 (Ronaldo 12, 51' pen, Ramos 61') Apoel 0
Real Madrid, it turns out, are still good, cruising to victory over a game but overmatched Apoel without playing all that well.
They absolutely dominated the first half but might have conceded before they scored, Igor De Camargo failing to control Roberto Lago's low cross and botching his shot accordingly. So Madrid broke downfield immediately, Gareth Bale setting up Cristiano Ronaldo, and his tidy finish put the holders in front.
Real Madrid’s Sergio Ramos celebrates scoring their third goalReuters
The goal was Madrid's only shot on target in the first half and they improved after the break, Ronaldo's penalty putting them further ahead after 51 minutes and Sergio Ramos' overhead kick sealing the win on 61. They ought really to have scored more, but will be satisfied with three; their next match though, away to a Dortmund side already desperate for something, will be more of a test.
How will Madrid keep everyone happy? With Marco Asensio and Karim Benzema absent, Zinedine Zidane's forward line picked itself. But once those two return, two ridiculously good players will be disappointed. Rotating effectively, or placating effectively will be crucial.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid) No-one played especially well, so it's impossible to pick anyone but the scorer of the first two goals. Obscenely good.
Apoel: Waterman 6, Vouros 6, Rueda 7, Carlao 6, Roberto Lago 4, Morais 5m Vinicius 5, Ebecilio 6, Sallai 6, De Camargo 5, Aloneftis 5. SubsL Farias 6, Pote 6, Zahid 6.
12’ - Oh aye! Roberto Lago mooches down the left, crosses low, and De Camargo is there! But he can't control properly and botches his shot.
13’ - GOAL! Real Madrid 1-0 Apoel Nicosia (Ronaldo) Well that didn't take long; welcome to harsh reality, Apoel. Madrid break, Isco dipping inside his man and carrying the ball deep into the Apoel half before feeding Bale down the left. He measures a perfect low cross to the back post, which Ronaldo cleverly redirects into the opposite corner.
50’ - PENALTY MADRID! Kroos spreads left to Bale, who crosses to no one, only for Roberto Lago to jut an upper arm at the ball! Silly behaviours.
51’ - GOAL! Real Madrid 2-0 Apoel Nicosia (Ronaldo pen) Ronaldo drives his kick into the bottom left and dashes to retrieve the ball, hat-trick hunting.
54’ - Modric attacks the box and shifts the ball inside for Ronaldo, who passes it behind his standing leg, diddling Roberto Lago, who clips him. But the ball runs onto Isco, whose low shot is blocked by Waterman; naturally Ronaldo thinks he should have a penalty and he's right - the ref should've brought that back.
61’ - GOAL! Real Madrid 3-0 Apoel Nicosia (Sergo Ramos) Ramos finds Marcelo and keeps going, so that when the cross comes in and Bale's header hits Roberto Lago, he's in position to attempt an overhead kick, six yards out. He only gets the ball with the tips of his toes, but it's enough.
Cristiano Ronaldo has scored 106 Champions League goals in 141 Champions League games; when he joined Madrid, he had 16 in 51.
Sergio Ramos has scored 50 goals in 337 appearances for Madrid.