Real Madrid took a huge step closer to the Champions League last-16 after thrashing Galatasaray in a game that was decided early on. The Whites are now five points ahead of Club Brugge and six ahead of Galatasaray with two games to go. Galatasaray suffered in the opening minutes as the Whites went on the prowl. Before fifteen minutes were up, the Whites had netted three, with a clear protagonist in Rodrygo. The Brazilian scored a brace in just seven minutes and both were the fruits of his great link-up with countryman Marcelo.
The second captain crossed to the far post on 4’ and the recently capped international star of the canarinha did the rest. He cut inside of two defenders well before placing a perfect left-footed shot in the corner. The second was a tremendous header after yet another cross from Marcelo. This was a dream start for the Whites, but their ambition did not end there. On minute 13, after checking VAR, German referee Zwayer blew for a penalty after Kroos went down under an Nzonzi challenge right on the line. Ramos converted the penalty with a Panenka.
Real Madrid were already in pole position but wanted more and scored the fourth goal in the 45th minute. Rodrygo was alert and won back the ball on the edge of the area and played in Benzema, who made no mistake. The Frenchman, with 62 goals, is now the fourth top scorer in the history of the European Cup. The fifth goal almost came shortly after, but Muslera sent Hazard’s shot behind for a corner after great individual skill. The only negative from the first half for the madridistas was Marcelo, who came off injured, replaced by Mendy.
Nothing changed after the break as Real Madrid delighted the Bernabeu and still had chances to add to the lead. Carvajal crossed with 50 minutes gone, Benzema brought it down on the move, but his shot went over. Kroos, from the edge of the area after 67′, was the next to try his luck and his shot forced Muslera into a good save. Two minutes later, Muslera intervened again after a header from Isco, with his first touch of the game, from a corner.
The fifth goal seemed to be a matter of time and came in the 81st minute. Carvajal crossed and Benzema turned the ball into the net with the inside of the right foot. The Frenchman surpassed Di Stefano and is the third top scorer for Real Madrid in the European Cup (50). In added time Rodrygo completed his hat-trick, after a great combination with Benzema, he beat Muslera in a one-on-one, with a subtle finish, bring to an end a game that Real Madrid dominated from beginning to end.
Manchester City 1 – 1 Atlanta
Manchester City remained unbeaten in the Champions League after a 1-1 draw with Atalanta, despite finishing the match with Kyle Walker in goal after substitute Claudio Bravo was sent off.
The Chilean, who replaced Ederson as an injury precaution at half-time, was dismissed for a foul on Josip Ilicic that saw Walker don the gloves for the final nine minutes in Italy.
Raheem Sterling continued his fine goal scoring run to give City an early lead at the San Siro, where Pep Guardiola’s experienced contrasting halves.
City effortlessly dominated the first, but Gabriel Jesus missed a penalty to extend the lead and Atalanta emerged a different proposition after the break.
Mario Pasalic crashed a header past Bravo as City struggled to replicate our first half fluency, but, having been reduced to 10-men, the defending Premier League champions produced a professional display to see out the game with Walker largely untested.
Tottenham Hotspurs 4 – 0 Crvena Zvezda
Giovani Lo Celso scored on his full debut and Heung-Min Son struck twice as Tottenham Hotspurs breached Crvena zvezda’s fortress Rajko Mitic Stadium to leave themselves in a commanding position to qualify for the knockout stage of the Champions League.
Christian Eriksen was also on target as we became the first English team to topple Crvena zvezda on home soil in the European Cup/Champions League. Indeed, in 10 matches against English opposition in Europe, only Arsenal (Europa League, 2017) and Bolton (UEFA Cup, 2007) had beaten Crvena zvezda in Belgrade.
A commanding performance wasn’t without a scare or two – most notably Paulo Gazzaniga’s point-blank save from Milan Pavkov with the scoreline still at 0-0 in the first half – but we controlled the game from the first to last whistle.
The result moves Tottenham onto seven points in Group B and victory over Olympiacos in Matchday Five at the new stadium on Tuesday 26 November will see them join Bayern Munich in the knockout stage of the competition. The Bundesliga champions booked their place in the last 16 by beating Olympiacos earlier on Wednesday.
PSG 1 – 0 Club Brugge
PSG started in style, with Angel Di Maria testing Mignolet early (5′), but Brugge had come to the Parc to play and Okereke fired just wide (7′). To escape the constant high-pressing game of the Belgian visitors, PSG looked to its secret weapon: ruthless efficiency, perfectly illustrated by Mauro Icardi who turned home Colin Dagba’s cross from the right in the 22′.
It was the Argentine’s eighth goal in his first ten UEFA Champions League matches. But was again, Brugge refused to lie down and Bonaventure forced Navas into action (28′). Di Maria then tried his luck direct from a corner (40′) and then from the edge of the area (44′) as Paris got closer and closer. At the end of 45 minutes, both sides had enjoyed six shots at goal, but PSG led on the score sheet.