Ronaldo Leads Real Madrid in Champions League as Bayern Wins
David Alaba, Mario Mandzukic and Arjen Robben got the goals as Bayern began its quest to become the first team since AC Milan in 1990 to win Europe’s elite club competition two straight years.
“The first game after winning the Champions League is never easy,” Bayern coach Pep Guardiola, who replaced Jupp Heynckes after last season, said on the website of tournament organizer UEFA. “Everyone always thinks it is, but it’s not.”
Bayern is the favorite to win the tournament with bookmakers on oddschecker.com, followed by Real Madrid and Barcelona, which opens its campaign tonight against Ajax.
Wayne Rooney scored twice to reach 200 goals for Manchester United in a 4-2 win against Bayer Leverkusen and Manchester City beat Viktoria Plzen 3-0. Paris Saint-Germain, Shakhtar Donetsk and Benfica also won, while Copenhagen drew 1-1 at home with Italian champion Juventus.
Eight more group-stage openers will be played tonight. The top two teams in each pool after six games advance to the knockout stage, which finishes with the May 24 final in Lisbon.
After Isco’s 33rd-minute goal in Turkey, Real Madrid scored five times in the second half of the Group B match.
Karim Benzema scored in the 54th minute and Ronaldo added goals three minutes apart to make it 4-0. After Benzema netted his second with nine minutes remaining, Umut Bulut scored for Galatasaray.
Ronaldo, who led the competition last season with 12 goals, then completed his hat trick in stoppage time.
“Things could not have started better for us,” Ronaldo said. “Scoring six goals is really good for us and will give us a lot of confidence.”
Two-time European champion Juventus got a goal from Fabio Quagliarella in the second half to draw with Copenhagen in the other Group B game.
Bayern needed four minutes to get going in Group D in Germany as Alaba’s free kick from outside the area went over the wall and dipped sharply under goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev, who got a hand to the ball.
Mandzukic headed in a cross in the 41st minute from Robben, who closed the scoring midway through the second half.
In the other Group D game, three goals in 10 minutes enabled Manchester City to better its winless performance in last season’s group stage.
Edin Dzeko scored in the 48th minute and Yaya Toure curled a shot from outside the area into the top corner five minutes later. Sergio Aguero then capped the scoring in the 58th minute with a shot from just inside the area.
In Manchester, Rooney joined Bobby Charlton, Denis Law and Jack Rowley in reaching the 200-goal mark for United. The England striker’s first goals for United came in his debut in a Champions League match in 2004.
“It’s gone very quick and I am very pleased to have scored 200 goals for a club like Manchester United,” Rooney said on the club’s website. “It’s a great honor for me. Hopefully there will be more to come.”
Rooney gave United the lead in the 22nd minute. After Simon Rolfes tied the score early in the second half, Robin van Persie put United back in front.
Rooney scored his milestone goal in the 70th minute and Antonio Valencia extended United’s lead. Omer Toprak added a consolation goal for Leverkusen in the final minutes.
Two goals from Alex Teixeira in the second half gave Shakhtar Donetsk a 2-0 win over Real Sociedad in the other Group A match.
In Group C, Thiago Motta scored twice in PSG’s 4-1 win over Olympiacos in Greece, while goals from Filip Djuricic and Luisao gave Benfica a 2-0 home victory against Anderlecht.
To contact the reporter on this story: Bob Bensch in London at email@example.com.