Cristiano Ronaldo levels Raul’s Champions League Goal record

Portugal striker Cristiano Ronaldo moved level with former Madrid striker Raul as he scored his 71st Champions League goal during Real Madrid’s record-equalling 15th consecutive win as they beat FC Basel 1-0 in Switzerland on Wednesday.

The Portuguese superstar converted a Karim Benzema cutback 10 minutes before half-time at the St Jakob-Park as the reigning European champions, who had already qualified for the last 16, secured first place in Group B with a fifth win in five games.

Ronaldo‘s goal allowed him to move level with Raul as the tournament’s second-top scorer of all time, three behind Lionel Messi, who broke the record with a hattrick for Barcelona against APOEL on Tuesday, Sport24 reported.

Ronaldo‘s goal secured their 15th consecutive victory in all competitions, a sequence that began with a 5-1 defeat of Basel at the Santiago Bernabeu in September.

Carlo Ancelotti‘s men have therefore equalled the record that was set by Miguel Munoz’s team in 1960-61 and then matched three seasons ago under Jose Mourinho.

Meanwhile, Basel, who had won their previous two home games, fought admirably with 17-year-old Cameroonian forward Breel Embolo proving a real handful, and despite the defeat they know that a draw with Liverpool at Anfield in a fortnight would take them through to the knockout stage, the report added.
Fortsätt läsa Cristiano Ronaldo levels Raul’s Champions League Goal record

Liverpool 0-3 Real Madrid. Ronaldo gets his 70th Champions League goal

Real Madrid earned their first-ever win over Liverpool with a wondrous Cristiano Ronaldo goal spearheading a 3-0 Champions League victory at Anfield on Wednesday which appeared as classy as it was dominant.

Ronaldo‘s glorious 23rd minute strike and a double from Karim Benzema sealed the champions’ triumph before halftime, leaving Real‘s Portuguese icon insisting his side were in the mood to become the first team in the Champions League era to successfully defend the title.

”We know it’ll be very tough but we know it’s possible if we play like that,” said Ronaldo, after scoring his 70th Champions League goal, which puts him within one of equalling Raul‘s all-time record.

He had a chance to share the mark but was thwarted by a point blank second half save from Simon Mignolet.

”I’m not worried about that (Raul’s record) I know I’m going to beat his record today or another game. Me and Messi (69 goals) are very close,” said Ronaldo.

The roar of one of Europe’s most vociferous crowds, which contributed to a bright start for the hosts as they hoped to see Liverpool improve on their three-game, 100 percent record over Real in European competition, was muted once Ronaldo scored the most brilliant of openers.

There looked to be little cause for alarm as Ronaldo flitted around in midfield and passed to James Rodriguez, who was surrounded by red shirts. Yet a delightful, dinked pass somehow picked out Ronaldo again and his first-time finish, taken early almost on the half-volley, was exquisite.

It proved the signal for Real to take over and Liverpool‘s suspect defence to lose concentration under pressure.

Liverpool should have cleared their lines long before Benzema‘s precise, looping header from Toni Kroos‘s cross effectively put the game beyond their reach.

The third was a scrappy, messy affair, with Liverpool again guilty of missing a couple of opportunities to clear a corner before the ball fell obligingly for Benzema to nudge home his second.

After Philippe Coutinho almost pulled one back with a searing shot which hit the post, Liverpool were resigned to having to claw back a three-goal deficit in a Champions League match for the first time since they did just that against AC Milan in the 2005 Istanbul final.

Real manager Carlo Ancelotti, in charge of the Milan side which threw away that lead, was not about to let history repeat itself.

”No I forgot this,” he said, when asked about that Istanbul night. ”I told the players that in football anything can happen. I know really well these (Liverpool) supporters. I told my players to stay focussed for the second half.”

Madrid never looked threatened despite Liverpool seeming a little livelier, thanks in part to the tactical substitution of Mario Balotelli, who was replaced at halftime by Adam Lallana.

Ancelotti, who felt it was the best Madrid had played all season, even had the luxury of being able to take off Ronaldo 15 minutes from the end with a view to the weekend’s Clasico against Barcelona and his champion player was thrilled to be given a resounding reception from the Kop.

”It was special,” said Ronaldo, who felt that with Madrid now having a maximum nine points from their three games, qualification was ”75 percent” assured.

Brendan Rodgers, the Liverpool manager who now faces a difficult qualification route with his side having three points alongside Ludogorets and Basel, had no complaints about being beaten by a team of such quality.

”You can see Real’s quality. Speed, technique; you can see why they are champions. The second and third goals are from set-pieces again. It’s an issue for us and we have to be better than that.”

Match Photos: Liverpool vs Real Madrid – Champions League [HQ]

Fortsätt läsa Liverpool 0-3 Real Madrid. Ronaldo gets his 70th Champions League goal

Ludogorets 1-2 Real Madrid: Ronaldo and Benzema rescue Champions League holders

Real Madrid needed a 77th-minute goal from substitute Karim Benzema for a 2-1 comeback win at Champions League newcomer Ludogorets on Wednesday, after Cristiano Ronaldo missed one penalty before making amends with a second spot kick.

Unfazed by the star-studded visitors in its first home game in Europe‘s top-tier competition, Ludogorets surprised the defending champions by taking the lead in the sixth minute.

Ronaldo squandered his first chance to level when his penalty kick was saved by goalkeeper Vladislav Stoyanov in the 10th. But he didn’t miss a second time from the spot in the 24th.

With Ludogorets holding its own, Benzema went on in the 67th and was soon broke the deadlock when he volleyed in Marcelo‘s cross to secure Madrid‘s second win of the tournament.

Ronaldo‘s goal took his total in the Champions League to 69, giving him one more than Barcelona’s Lionel Messi as the two stars race to reach Raul Gonzalez‘s tournament mark of 71.

While Madrid held on for the tougher-than-expected win, Liverpool was beaten 1-0 at Basel in the other Group B match.

Liverpool’s loss left Madrid alone in first place of the group with six points. Basel and Liverpool have three points, while Ludogorets was left with zero despite two strong showings against Madrid and Liverpool.

Fortsätt läsa Ludogorets 1-2 Real Madrid: Ronaldo and Benzema rescue Champions League holders

Real Madrid 3-1 Schalke. Ronaldo double seals Madrid’s place in last eight

Real Madrid paid a heavy price for their qualification to the last 8 of the Champions League against Schalke 04 on Tuesday night when striker Jese Rodriguez was taken to hospital with what looked like a knee ligament injury.

Cristiano Ronaldo, who scored twice and Alvaro Morata, gave Madrid a 3-1 win on the night and a 9-2 aggregate win, but perhaps Jese will be the player who takes the headlines.

Video: Cristiano Ronaldo – Real Madrid vs Schalke 

http://youtu.be/eBUShwUk8H8

The player, considered to be the pearl of the Madrid youth system, needed to be carried off the pitch at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium after just two minutes as the result of a hard challenge from Schalke left back Sead Kolasinac.

Early indications from the club were that he could have suffered a ligament injury, although further tests will need to be carried out to determine the full extent of the damage.

Jese was among several youngsters given their chance in the game, which was very much a formality for Real Madrid given that they had defeated Schalke 6-1 in Germany three weeks ago.

Alvaro Morata, Asier Illaramendi, Nacho Gonzalez and Isco were all in the starting 11. Gareth Bale replaced Jese, who set up the first goal with a pass from Cristiano Ronaldo to score the first goal of the game.

Morata earned the disapproval of the fans with a couple of bad misses before Schalke drew level on the night when Tim Hoogland’s shot was deflected past Iker Casillas just after the half hour.

Knowing the tie was lost, Schalke also fielded several fringe players and the fact they had no chance of qualifying was highlighted when they substituted Klaas jan Huntelaar at the break.

The second half saw Ronaldo score again, his 13th goal to date in this season’s competition, while Morata finally got on the scoresheet after pushing home a Ronaldo shot which had hit the crossbar.

So Madrid are into the quarter-finals with a far easier passage than could have been imagined but everyone will be waiting with baited breath for the result of Jese’s tests.

Here are the Match Pictures: Fortsätt läsa Real Madrid 3-1 Schalke. Ronaldo double seals Madrid’s place in last eight

Copenhagen 0-2 Real Madrid. Cristiano Ronaldo sets scoring record as Real Madrid win in Copenhagen

Real Madrid put the finishing touches to a fine Champions League group stage with a 2-0 victory, and Cristiano Ronaldo setting up another record in champions league this season.

This loss puts Copenhagen bottom of the group even before Galatasaray and Juventus play their match which was abandoned due to sudden inclement weather, while Real Madrid have gained 16 points from a possible 18.

25 minutes in, Modric turned his man on the edge of the 18-yard box and bended a fine effort past the goalkeeper with ease, putting the side from the Spanish capital well on their way.

Johan Wiland was excellent in the Copenhagen goal, saving twice from Karim Benzema and then again from Cristiano Ronaldo. But he was finally beaten again by Cristiano Ronaldo just after the half-time break, Marcelo’s powerful cross was headed across goal by Pepe and Ronaldo was there to thump home.

Cristiano Ronaldo scored his 9th Champions League this season. With this Goal against copenhagen, Ronaldo broke the record for most goals in a Champions League Group stage in a season. Previous record was of 8 goals in champions league group stages.

Ronaldo‘s Goal also brought Real Madrid‘s 800 Goals in European Championship, Real Madrid became the first club to score 800 goals in European competition. It was really a special match for Cristiano Ronaldo despite he missed out on a penalty in the match.

Here are the Match Match Pictures: Fortsätt läsa Copenhagen 0-2 Real Madrid. Cristiano Ronaldo sets scoring record as Real Madrid win in Copenhagen

Ronaldo-Di Maria leads Real Madrid to 4-0 victory over Copenhagen

Cristiano Ronaldo scored twice with his head and Angel Di Maria also grabbed a double as Real Madrid maintained their winning start in Champions League Group B with a thumping 4-0 victory over FC Copenhagen on Wednesday.

Portugal forward Ronaldo followed up his hat-trick in the opening 6-1 drubbing of Galatasaray with another sparkling display and Di Maria also turned in a fine performance in the absence of injured world record signing Gareth Bale.

Ronaldo‘s first goal came in the 21st minute when goalkeeper Johan Wiland failed to deal with Marcelo’s floated cross and he nodded in from a tight angle.

Copenhagen’s resistance was effectively ended when Ronaldo powered home a Di Maria centre in the 65th minute.

The Argentine winger netted a fine curling effort six minutes later and another in the first minute of stoppage time as Real secured a maximum six points from their first two matches.

Copenhagen have one point along with Galatasaray who drew 2-2 at Juventus (two points) on Wednesday.

”I am very pleased, we played a great match,” Di Maria told Canal Plus television. ”We changed the system a bit with three players up front.

”We have to keep this up now, we know that all the matches will be tough.”

With their fans providing impressive encouragement high up in Real’s giant arena, Copenhagen made a bright start to their first meeting with the nine-times European champions.

However, Real quickly asserted themselves and Karim Benzema headed narrowly wide from Marcelo’s left-wing cross in the sixth minute.

Just as the home supporters were starting to grow restless, Ronaldo struck his first of the night.

Real centre back Pepe then needed treatment to a head wound after clashing with Daniel Braaten before Copenhagen went close to an equaliser from a corner four minutes before the break.

Nicolai Jorgensen beat keeper Iker Casillas to the ball and his header bounced down off the crossbar before appearing to strike the hand of Luka Modric on the line.

The Croatia midfielder was able to clear the danger but there were whistles of discontent from the home fans as the players trooped off at halftime.

Ronaldo settled any nerves in the stands with his second 20 minutes into the second half, his 55th goal on his 94th appearance in Europe’s elite club competition and his 26th in his last 21 outings.

Full Time: Real Madrid 4-0 Copenhagen

Cristiano Ronaldo 21′, 65′, Di Maria 71′, 90′

Here are the Match Pictures:
Fortsätt läsa Ronaldo-Di Maria leads Real Madrid to 4-0 victory over Copenhagen

Galatasaray 1-6 Real Madrid. Ronaldo’s Hattrick Destroys Galatasaray

Cristiano Ronaldo hit thrice and Karim Benzema grabbed a brace to dominate the Turkish giants at home and ensure Real Madrid their first three points of Champions League play under Carlo Ancelotti in Istanbul.

Gareth Bale did not start the match, having played just 60 minutes in the weekend’s draw with Villareal. Manager Ancelotti said that Bale was still only around 75% fit, so it’s no surprise he did not make the starting eleven.

The Galatasaray midfield surprisingly started on top, pressing both Sami Khedira and Luka Modric hard to prevent build-up play. This forced the creativity out wide, and the defense was able to then concentrate on guarding wingers Cristiano Ronaldo and Angel Di Maria.

Iker Casillas began the match in goal, having received the blessing of Ancelotti as his chosen Champions League goalkeeper, but Casillas was forced off in just the 15th minute with a rib injury.  He went up for a save and his own defender Sergio Ramos did not concede the position, also attempting to head the ball away and in the process elbowing Casillas in the ribs.

The game got increasingly physical, with Gatatasaray playing for free kicks and Real Madrid obliging.  Felipe Melo had two beautiful chances kept out early, with a long-range strike well saved by a diving Casillas before his injury.  Then, a free header was also pushed wide by substitute keeper Diego Lopez in the 30th minute.

Against the run of play, Isco opened the scoring with Real Madrid’s first shot on target in the 32nd minute, and the match’s first goal.  A very long ball off the mid-line from Di Maria resulted in a contested header in the box.  Emmanuel Eboue failed to get a head on the ball, instead falling down, and it left Isco with a free shot which hit off the post and into the back of the net.

After the halftime break Didier Drogba was replaced by Nordin Amarat due to a shoulder injury Drogba suffered just before halftime in a collision with Madrid defender Pepe.

Galatasaray should have had an equalizer just after the break in the 47th minute, but Burak Yilmaz put his thundering header just wide left.

Karim Benzema took advantage of a Galatasaray mistake for the deathblow in the 54th minute.  Melo headed a ball in the midfield but it landed directly to Benzema behind the defense, and the French striker did the rest himself, slotting it past Fernando Muslera for a 2-0 Real Madrid lead.

Cristiano Ronaldo bagged his team’s third in the 63rd minute, a goal that left the legendary winger chuckling. Di Maria got past Muslera on the right edge of the box, but his cross went over Ronaldo’s head. Thankfully, it fell to Isco who cut it back for Ronaldo to smash in from very short range. It wasn’t pretty, but it worked.

He got a second just three minutes later, when Sergio Ramos’s header off a free kick was saved, and the rebound fell to Ronaldo for an easy finish as Real Madrid poured it on.

Benzema got his second in the 81st minute.  A lovely touch from Ronaldo on the left edge of the box popped the ball across the face as the Frenchman got free and he stuck it home with ease. The consolation for Galatasaray came late for substitute Umut Bulut on a great run beating Pepe, but it did nothing to ease the pain for the home side.

Any fleeting happiness from the goal faded fast as Ronaldo secured his hat-trick in stoppage time with a ridiculous back-and-forth ball beating three Galatasaray defenders in the box before a smashing finish from a tight angle. The goal is his 53rd in 93 Champions League matches.

The comprehensive, dominating win is a major statement by the Spanish giants, as they look to impress under Carlo Ancelotti.

Goals:

Real Madrid – Isco 32′, Benzema 54′, 81′, Cristiano Ronaldo 63′, 66′

Galatasaray – Bulut 83′

Lineups:

Galatasaray – Muslera; Nounkeu, Chedjou, Eboue, Riera; Melo, Inan; Sneijder, Baytar (Bruma, 62′); Drogba (Amrabat, 45′), Yilmaz (Bulut, 78′).

Real Madrid – Casillas (Diego Lopez, 15′); Pepe, Ramos, Carvajal, Arbeloa; Khedira, Modric (Illarramendi, 72′); Ronaldo, Di Maria; Isco (Bale, 64′), Benzema.

Here are The Match Pictures: Fortsätt läsa Galatasaray 1-6 Real Madrid. Ronaldo’s Hattrick Destroys Galatasaray