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UEFA Champions League

Letzigrund (ATT 24,000) 15th September 2009 - Kick off 19:45 Ref: D Cann

FC Zurich FC Zurich vs Real Madrid R Madrid

FC Zurich 2

X Margairaz (pen 64)
S Aegerter (65)

ft

R Madrid 5

C Ronaldo (27, 89)
Raul (34)
G Higuain (45+1)
Guti (90+4)

Ronaldo inspires Real romp

Portuguese forward nets brace as Spanish giants top Group C

By Elliot Ball.   Last Updated: 15/09/09 10:24pm

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Ronaldo: Free-kick brace

Ronaldo: Free-kick brace

Cristiano Ronaldo ensured Real Madrid kicked off their UEFA Champions League campaign successfully as they eventually coasted to victory with a 5-2 win against FC Zurich on Tuesday.

The world's most expensive player opened his European scoring account for the Spanish giants from a trademark free-kick before Raul Gonzalez and Gonzalo Higuain added further first-half goals to put Real in the box-seat.

However, Zurich took advantage of a two-minute defensive wobble with Xavier Margairaz and Silvan Aegerter grabbing quick-fire goals midway through the second half to set up a grandstand finish.

But another Ronaldo set-piece - courtesy of some shocking goalkeeping from Johnny Leoni - and a late Guti finish wrapped up the three points to allow Manuel Pellegrini's side, who next play host to Marseille, to go top of Group C.

It was an encouraging Champions League debut from new-boys Zurich, who next travel to the San Siro to play seven-times winners AC Milan, as Bernard Challandes' outfit came out at the Letzigrund aiming to play their brand of attacking football.

And the Swiss champions were the first to truly threaten when Finnish defender Hannu Tihinen drew a fantastic save from Real goalkeeper Iker Casillas in the ninth minute, and Leoni had to be equally alert a minute later to keep out a left-footed shot from Higuain.

Opener

Ronaldo ballooned a free-kick over the crossbar after Florian Stahel had been yellow-carded for dissent, but made spectacular amends in the 27th minute with another set-piece to put the nine-time European champions in front.

The Portuguese earned the chance himself after he won a free-kick from Tihinen's challenge, and his right-footed shot cleared the wall and dipped past Leoni, who could arguably have done better.

Real doubled their lead in the 34th minute as Raul scored his 65th Champions League goal.

Ronaldo again played a part, heading a lofted Pepe pass into Higuain's path on the right-hand side of the box. The Zurich defence were expecting a shot but instead the Argentinian forward squared it for Raul to tap home from six yards.

Real grabbed a third in first-half injury-time as Raul's clever reverse pass found Higuain, who bustled past his marker before drilling a low shot past Leoni for his first ever Champions League goal.

As in the first half, Zurich had the first chance of the second 45 minutes when Margairaz headed Johan Vonlanthen's free-kick from the left wide from close range.

Concern

There was cause for concern when Xabi Alonso appeared to injure his right ankle as he slipped trying to challenge Vonlanthen in midfield, with Fernando Gago eventually coming on.

Casillas made an impressive block to keep out Philippe Koch's low shot from Vonlanthen's volleyed cross but was then judged to have brought down Alexandre Alphonse in the box, although the contact looked minimal.

The Spain goalkeeper was booked and Margairaz beat him from the spot in the 64th minute and within 60 seconds Zurich had cut the deficit to one when Aegerter headed home Vonlanthen's inswinging corner from the left without a marker in sight.

Real were getting frustrated and substitutes Gago and Guti were both booked while Kaka was lucky not to get a second booking for a clumsy challenge on Tihinen before Lassana Diarra became the sixth Real man to be booked for a foul on Margairaz.

Ronaldo finished the night with a brace as his free-kick somehow bounced off Leoni's fists into the net and Guti added a sublime fifth with a chip over the stranded goalkeeper.

FC Z├╝richTeam StatisticsReal Madrid
2Goals5
01st Half Goals3
5Shots on Target8
3Shots off Target6
1Blocked Shots7
3Corners6
18Fouls14
5Offsides2
2Yellow Cards6
0Red Cards0
80.2Passing Success85.2
29Tackles26
82.8Tackles Success76.9
40.6Possession59.4
46.8Territorial Advantage53.2

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Matches

  • UEFA Champions League

    Tue 15th Sep - Group B
    • Besiktas
      0 - 1
      Man Utd
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    • Wolfsburg
      3 - 1
      CSKA Mosc
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    Tue 15th Sep - Group D
    • A Madrid
      0 - 0
      Apoel Nicosia
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    • Chelsea
      1 - 0
      FC Porto
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    Tue 15th Sep - Group A
    • Maccabi Haifa
      0 - 3
      Bay Munich
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    • Juventus
      1 - 1
      Bordeaux
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    Tue 15th Sep - Group C
    • FC Zurich
      2 - 5
      R Madrid
      bet
      TV
    • Marseille
      1 - 2
      AC Milan
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      TV

Tables

UEFA Champions League Group A

UEFA Champions League
Pos Team P Pts
1 Juventus 2 3
2 Atletico Madrid 2 3
3 Malmo FF 2 3
4 Olympiakos FC 2 3

UEFA Champions League Group B

UEFA Champions League
Pos Team P Pts
1 Real Madrid 2 6
2 Basel 2 3
3 Liverpool 2 3
4 Ludogorets 2 0

UEFA Champions League Group C

UEFA Champions League
Pos Team P Pts
1 Zenit St. Petersburg 2 4
2 Monaco 2 4
3 Bayer Leverkusen 2 3
4 Benfica 2 0

UEFA Champions League Group D

UEFA Champions League
Pos Team P Pts
1 Borussia Dortmund 2 6
2 Arsenal 2 3
3 Anderlecht 2 1
4 Galatasaray 2 1

UEFA Champions League Group E

UEFA Champions League
Pos Team P Pts
1 Bayern Munich 2 6
2 Roma 2 4
3 Manchester City 2 1
4 CSKA Moscow 2 0

UEFA Champions League Group F

UEFA Champions League
Pos Team P Pts
1 Paris St Germain 2 4
2 Barcelona 2 3
3 Ajax 2 2
4 Apoel Nicosia 2 1

UEFA Champions League Group G

UEFA Champions League
Pos Team P Pts
1 Chelsea 2 4
2 Maribor 2 2
3 Schalke 2 2
4 Sporting Lisbon 2 1

UEFA Champions League Group H

UEFA Champions League
Pos Team P Pts
1 FC Porto 2 4
2 BATE Borisov 2 3
3 Shakhtar Donetsk 2 2
4 Athletic Bilbao 2 1

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