x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Real rowing in the right direction, says Mourinho

Real Madrid passed an early test of its Champions League credentials under Jose Mourinho by defeating AC Milan.

Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates after scoring against AC Milan.
Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates after scoring against AC Milan.

Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho believes the club are "building something important" after their quest for a 10th European crown gathered momentum with a 2-0 win over the seven-time champions AC Milan in a heavyweight Champions League Group G clash at the Bernabeu.

 

Cristiano Ronaldo scored from a free-kick in the 13th minute to put Mourinho's men ahead and moments later Madrid doubled their lead when Mesut Ozil's shot was deflected in.

 

Real have now won eight of their 10 matches under Mourinho's leadership and the Portuguese said: "My empathy for the players and the club continually grows. We all row in the same direction. The fans have a positive feeling and we are building something important. I will be here four years and I've only been here four months. I hope to achieve a positive objective with the team."

 

In the other Group G game, Demy De Zeeuw and Luis Suarez both hit fine goals as Ajax recorded their first win of the group stages despite playing over half an hour with 10 men against Auxerre in the Amsterdam ArenA.

 

Bayern Munich were thankful for a pair of own goals as they maintained their perfect start in Champions League Group E with a 3-2 victory over Cluj at the Allianz Arena.

 

The result gave last season's beaten finalists a firm grip over their section. However, they won with some fortune after falling behind to Cluj skipper Ricardo Cadu's header after 27 minutes.

 

Cadu's night turned sour soon after when he unluckily put the ball into his own net before Cristian Panin did the same six minutes later.

 

It proved the decisive period on a night when Cluj otherwise matched their hosts.

 

Mario Gomez added a third for Bayern to render Juan Emmanuel Culio's late strike a consolation effort.

 

Bayern now have a six-point cushion at the top of the group after Basle stunned Roma 3-1 at the Stadio Olimpico.

 

The Swiss side led through Alexander Frei's 12th minute goal before Marco Borriello levelled.

 

But Samuel Inkoom had Basle back in front before half time before Cabral sealed the win late on.

 

Arsenal's thrashing of Shakhtar Donetsk took them three points clear of the Ukrainians in Group H. Eduardo felt like he had never left after receiving a warm reception from the Arsenal fans during last night's Champions League game who celebrated his consolation goal as if it was for the home side.

 

The 27-year-old Croatian forward headed to Ukraine during the summer after finding himself down the Gunners order following the free transfer signing of Marouane Chamakh.

 

The Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger found it emotional to see the Brazil-born striker leave, after he fought back to full fitness following an horrific broken leg and dislocated ankle at Birmingham in February 2008.

 

Eduardo had vowed not to celebrate should he get on the scoresheet against his old club - and was true to his word when netting a fine volley with seven minutes left after coming off the bench.

 

Braga have the advantage over Partizan Belgrade in the race for third place after a 2-0 win secured by goals from Rodrigo Lima and Matheus.

 

Marseille earned their first points in Group F with a 1-0 win over Slovakian side MSK Zilina thanks to Souleymane Diawara's second-half goal, but Chelsea are dominating the pool and won 2-0 away to Spartak Moscow to go three points clear of the Russians.