x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Ronaldo double silences Velodrome

Cristiano Ronaldo gave Real Madrid fans a reminder of why the club shelled out so much money for him in the summer as his two goals helped set up a 3-1 win over Marseille.

Cristiano Ronaldo gave Real Madrid fans a reminder of why the club shelled out so much money for him in the summer as his two goals helped set up a 3-1 win over Marseille. The Portuguese winger, who returned earlier this month following two months out with an ankle problem, tormented the Marseille defence throughout, scoring twice to ensure Madrid topped Group B.

"Cristiano Ronaldo was the best player on the pitch," said Real legend Zinedine Zidane, now an adviser to club president Florentino Perez. Ronaldo put the Spanish side in front after only five minutes with a brilliant 35-yard free-kick and added a second 10 minutes from time. "I feel better and better and not only because I score goals. I feel better in the game. Everything is fine," said Ronaldo.

"We know he is a great player and a great professional," Real coach Manuel Pellegrini added. "I had already said he would not be affected by his sending off last weekend in La Liga. He has this capacity to spring from everywhere and score." Ronaldinho's second-half penalty ensured that AC Milan qualified from the group in second place after a 1-1 draw at home to Zurich. "We never lost confidence in ourselves," said the Brazilian, whose side had trailed Milan Gajic's first-half effort.

Chelsea, who had already topped Group D, drew 2-2 at home to Apoel Nicosia after the Cypriot side equalised with three minutes left. "We were not concentrating," said the Chelsea striker Didier Drogba. "We thought, maybe, it was going to be an easy game but in the Champions League there are no easy games." Second-placed Porto won 3-0 at Atletico Madrid. * With Agencies