x Abu Dhabi, UAE Thursday 20 July 2017

Real Madrid sweat while goals flow freely elsewhere

Real Madrid ground out a win while PSG and Bayern Munich filled their boots.

Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates scoring Real Madrid’s second goal in a 2-1 defeat of Juventus at the Bernabeu on Wednesday. Andres Kudacki / AP Photo
Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates scoring Real Madrid’s second goal in a 2-1 defeat of Juventus at the Bernabeu on Wednesday. Andres Kudacki / AP Photo

On a night when several of Europe’s leading clubs showed off their attacking prowess, Real Madrid edged out Juventus 2-1 at the Bernabeu on Wednesday in a nervy warm-up for the season’s first El Clasico encounter with rivals Barcelona.

Cristiano Ronaldo twice gave Madrid the lead, rounding Gianluigi Buffon for the first and converting a penalty for the second. Fernando Llorente initially brought Juventus level, cleaning up a rebound from Iker Casillas, but Giorgio Chiellini followed up giving away the penalty by being sent off three minutes into the second half, hampering hopes of a Juve comeback.

Madrid, who sit three points off the Spanish league leaders in third place, travel to Barcelona on Saturday in a match the side from the capital likely need a result from to ease mounting tension.

In the other Group B match, Galatasaray’s high-priced acquisitions Felipe Melo, Wesley Sneijder and Didier Drogba found the net in a 3-1 home defeat of Copenhagen. Galatasaray moved past Juventus into second place with four points, while Madrid is first with nine. Juventus are third with two points.

Paris Saint-Germain put forth an imperious attacking display away to Anderlecht, with Zlatan Ibrahimovic scoring four times to spearhead a 5-0 thumping of the Belgian champions. Edinson Cavani also found the net to round out the scoring. PSG lead Group C with nine points, five ahead of Olympiakos and Benfica, who drew 1-1 on a soggy night in Portugal.

One night after Borussia Dortmund left North London with a 2-1 win over Arsenal, their Bundesliga brethren showed off their league’s depth of quality. Bayern Munich ran out comfortable 5-0 winners at home against Viktoria Plzen, with Frank Ribery scoring twice and Mario Gotze finishing with a goal and an assist. Bayern lead Group D with nine points, three ahead of Manchester City.

Stefan Kiessling found the net twice, neither instance in phantom fashion, in Bayer Leverkusen’s 4-0 home defeat of Shakhtar Donetsk in the other Group A match. Simon Rolfes and Sidney Sam also scored for Leverkusen, who sit second, a point behind Manchester United.

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