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Key Events

A. Farías
Yellow Card
L. Ebecilio
Yellow Card
Sergio Ramos
3 - 0
Cristiano Ronaldo
Penalty Goal
2 - 0
Cristiano Ronaldo
G. Bale
1 - 0

Match Stats

69% 30%
Shots Off Target
Shots On Target 6 1
Total Passes 675 311
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Live table
Pos Team P W D L F A +/- PTS Form
1 Tottenham Hotspur TOT Tottenham Hotspur 6 5 1 0 15 4 +11 16 W W W D W
2 Real Madrid RMA Real Madrid 6 4 1 1 17 7 +10 13 W W L D W
3 Borussia Dortmund BVB Borussia Dortmund 6 0 2 4 7 13 -6 2 L L D D L
4 APOEL APL APOEL 6 0 2 4 2 17 -15 2 L L D D L


8th Finals
UEFA Europa League


Madrid weren't at their best during what was a slightly lacklustre first half for the Spanish giants, but they increased the tempo after the break and were excellent from then onwards. APOEL defended valiantly as they desperately tried to hold on, and in the end they did well to limit their opponents to just three goals. The game was only ever going to go one way though, and the home side will certainly be pleased with their efforts this evening.
90' + 3' Huge chance for Madrid to score another! Ronaldo breaks down the left channel before penetrating the box and teeing up Mayoral to tap in from close range. The youngster does so and then wheels away in celebration, but the linesman's flag immediately brings an end to his joy.
90' + 2' Carvajal darts into the right-hand side of the APOEL box as he tries to latch onto yet another clever pass from Modric, but he can't quite reach the ball on the byline and it rolls behind for a goal-kick.
A. Farías
Yellow Card
90' Farias dives into Marcelo from behind and catches the Brazilian with a clumsy sliding challenge, resulting in the substitute receiving a late yellow card.
90' The fourth official has indicated that there will be three minutes of added time.
89' It all Madrid at the moment as they comfortably ease their way over the finish line. They've certainly been the better of the two sides this evening, and they deserve to leave with what has been a well-earned victory.
87' Another delightful cross from Modric manages to pick out Casemiro in front of goal. The Brazilian meets the ball well and nods it down towards Ronaldo, but, once again, the Portuguese is denied an opportunity to score by Waterman.
85' Ronaldo thinks he's wrapped up his hat-trick, but the linesman's flag is raised! A beautiful ball from Modric perfectly tees up Ronaldo to score from close range at the far post, but his run forward was slightly mistimed and his celebrations are brought to a premature end by the linesman's flag.
84' Ceballos cuts inside and carves out a pocket of space for himself before firing a bouncing cross into the box. It's well hit and flies towards Ronaldo, but the Portuguese can't quite meet the ball ahead of Waterman.
M. Poté
I. de Camargo
83' Meanwhile, De Camargo has made way for Mickael Pote for APOEL.
Borja Mayoral
G. Bale
82' Madrid have made their third and final alteration, with Gareth Bale coming on to replace Borja Mayoral.
81' The home side quickly win back possession and try to find joy over on the left flank, but an overhit pass makes life difficult for Marcelo and, despite his best efforts, the Brazilian can't keep the ball from flying out for a throw-in.
79' Madrid patiently pass the ball around deep inside the APOEL half of the pitch before Carvajal eventually whips in a cross from the right wing. It's well closed down, however, and the full-back has to settle for a corner that narrowly misses the head of Ramos.
77' Another curling cross sails into the heart of the APOEL penalty area and flies towards Ronaldo, but this time he ends up pushing his marker to the ground before he can reach the ball, leaving the referee with no choice but to award the visitors a free-kick.
75' De Camargo, who has barely had a touch of the ball this evening, manages to get away his first shot of the evening after slightly sloppy defending from Madrid. He can't make it count, however, and his rushed effort bounces well wide of the goal.
G. Zahid
L. Ebecilio
73' Meanwhile, Ebecilio has made way for Ghayas Zahid for the visitors.
Dani Ceballos
72' Madrid have made their second change of the night, with Dani Ceballos coming on to take the place of Isco.
71' APOEL are able to push forward on a rare counter-attack after yet another Madrid attacking move fails to result in a chance on goal. Aloneftis gets himself into a good position in the middle of the pitch and quickly tries to set up Igor de Camargo, who rushes into the penalty area but can't get the better of Ramos.
70' A deflected cross loops into the middle of the visitors' box and manages to find Bale. He does well to rise high and get a head on the ball, but he can't make decent contact with it and Waterman easily deals with the danger.
69' Just wide from Isco! Space opens up for the Spaniard, allowing him to fly forward on a marauding run. He manages to reach the edge of the box and then shoots, but his low strike fails to find the bottom corner of the net and rolls just wide of the post.
68' Another opportunity for Ronaldo! He skips into the left-hand side of the APOEL penalty area on a great run and takes on Waterman, but he's unable to get the better of the Dutch goalkeeper and has his low shot saved at the near post.
67' Bale and Ronaldo almost manage to link up once again as the Portuguese tries to wrap up his hat-trick by latching onto a clever cross, but he's unable to get a head on it and loses out to Vouros at the vital moment.
65' Carvajal gets himself into a lovely position out wide and quickly whips a low cross into the heart of the APOEL box. It looks set to find Bale, but, despite his best efforts, the Welshman can't quite reach the ball in front of goal.
L. Ebecilio
Yellow Card
63' An APOEL attacking move breaks down, with Ebecilio unable to find a way past the halfway line. He then lashes out at Kroos and catches the German with a late challenge, leaving the referee with no choice but to reach for his yellow card once again.
Sergio Ramos
61' GOAL! Ramos makes it 3-0! A beautiful curling cross from Marcelo perfectly picks out Bale at the far post, and the Welshman rises high to set up Ramos with a deflected header. The defender immediately pulls off an excellent overhead kick from close range, and it's one that leaves Waterman with no chance.
A. Farías
R. Sallai
60' APOEL have made their first substitution of the game, with Sallai making way for Agustin Farias.
59' Isco is the latest Madrid player to try and get the better of Waterman with a curling strike from just outside of the penalty area, but, like Kroos' effort a few moments ago, his shot fails to hit the target and sails over the top of the crossbar.
57' Carvajal opens up space for Kroos with a clever run out wide and allows the midfielder to get a shot away, but he doesn't hit it particularly well and sends his thumping effort comfortably wide of the near post.
55' Ronaldo breaks through the middle of the disjointed APOEL back line and looks set to wrap up his hat-trick, but the linesman's flag denies him a chance to shoot as soon as he's about to pull the trigger from inside the box.
54' Ronaldo goes down inside the penalty area, but nothing is given! The Portuguese receives the ball inside the box and quickly tries to round Lago, but he's caught by an outstretched leg from the defender and crashes to the ground. He immediately screams for a penalty as Isco's follow-up shot is saved by Waterman, but the referee doesn't agree and waves play on.
R. Sallai
Yellow Card
53' And now Sallai is booked after clattering into Kroos as the German midfielder tried to dart down the left wing on a quick counter-attack.
Yellow Card
52' APOEL push forward from the restart and win themselves a free-kick over on the left flank thanks to a poor challenge by Carvajal. It fails to result in a chance on goal though, as the cross into the box is easily dealt with.
Cristiano Ronaldo
Penalty Goal
51' GOAL! Ronaldo steps up and coolly fires an excellent strike into the bottom left-hand corner of the net to pick up his second goal of the evening.
50' A bouncing cross into the APOEL penalty area should be easily dealt with by Lago before it can find Ronaldo. He tries to chest the ball down ahead of the Portuguese, but he ends up handling it and gives away a cheap penalty.
48' Ronaldo thinks he's scored, but the referee says no! A lovely curling cross from Carvajal finds Ronaldo all alone in the middle of the box. He immediately pulls off an excellent volley that smashes the underside of the crossbar and bounces off the line, and his protests are quickly waved away by the referee.
46' We're underway once again!
The two teams are making their way back out on to the pitch ahead of the start of the second half. Neither side have made any substitutions during the half-time break.
Madrid deserve to head into the half-time break with a one-goal lead, but they've been slightly complacent since going ahead and haven't been able to find that all-important second goal. APOEL have sat deep and defended well, with Vouros looking particularly impressive over on the right wing. They've struggled to create many chances at the other end, but they won't be too displeased with the current scoreline.
45' + 3' Ronaldo goes down inside the penalty area, but nothing is given! The Portuguese is left in space over on the left flank, allowing him to charge forward on an excellent run. He cuts into the box and goes down under a challenge from Vouros that sends his shot wide of the goal, but the referee doesn't believe he was clipped and tells him to get back to his feet. 
45' + 2' APOEL are able to string together a decent series of passes as they push forward on a rare foray into the Madrid half of the pitch, but they don't do enough to carve out a chance on goal and the home side are easily able to win back possession.
45' The fourth official has indicated that there will be three minutes of added time.
44' APOEL clumsily lose the ball midway inside their own half of the pitch, allowing Isco to break forward. He manages to reach the edge of the penalty area and then tries to tee up Marcelo to his left, but his pass over to the Brazilian is poorly placed and rolls behind the defender, much to his annoyance.
42' Vital interception by Rueda! A lovely dinked pass from Casemiro floats over the APOEL defence and looks set to pick out Ronaldo in front of goal, but Rueda is just about able to get a foot on the ball to lift it up into the air and down to Waterman.
40' Ronaldo tries to pull off a fancy bit of skill over on the left wing, but he's unable to do so and gives the ball back to the visitors. Sallai tries to quickly break down the right flank, but Marcelo is there to make sure he can't by dispossessing the youngster with a well-timed tackle.
38' An attempted APOEL attacking move comes to nothing, and Madrid hit them on another brilliant counter-attack. Ronaldo links up with Isco before shooting from just outside of the penalty area, but his poked shot isn't a good one and rolls comfortably wide of the far post.
36' Kroos quickly wins the ball back for Madrid in the middle of the pitch before flying forward and unleashing a 25-yard shot that's deflected behind for a corner. The set-piece is well defended by APOEL before Kroos picks up the ball once again, but this time he's closed down over on the right-hand side of the box before he can tee up a team-mate with a low cross.
34' Huge opportunity for Ronaldo! Madrid are almost able to pull off a carbon copy of their opening goal, with Bale sending another excellent cross over to the far post. It manages to pick out the number seven all alone, but he can't make decent contact with the ball and pokes it wide of the goal.
32' Chance for Bale! This time it's Marcelo who manages to get himself into a good position deep down the left flank, but once again Vouros is there to clear the danger for a corner. Kroos' ball into the box is a good one and finds Bale, but, once again, the Welshman's header is slightly too powerful and fails to hit the target.
30' Ronaldo is almost set up with another opportunity to beat Waterman from close range, but this time it's Carlao who rises high and gets the better of the Portuguese with a vital headed clearance.
29' Ronaldo darts down the left wing before cutting inside and taking on Praxitelis Vouros, who does well to poke the ball behind for a corner. The set-piece initially fails to result in a chance on goal but bounces out to Carvajal, who quickly shoots from distance but can't beat the sea of yellow shirts camped in front of him.
27' Marcelo and Bale link up well deep down the left flank, setting up the Welshman to curl a looping cross into the heart of the box. It flies towards Ronaldo once again, but this time the ball is overhit and fails to pick out the goalscorer.
T. Kroos
M. Kovačić
25' Kroos is eventually able to come on to replace Kovacic, who has gone straight down the tunnel to receive further treatment on what looks to be a nasty injury.
24' Ronaldo makes a clever run into the middle of the APOEL penalty area as he tries to latch onto a lofted pass forward from Marcelo, but Waterman reads the flight of the ball well and collects it comfortably.
22' Kovacic is forced off the pitch, and it looks as if Toni Kroos is going to come on to replace him when the ball next goes out of play. APOEL try to push forward on a rare attack as they attempt to make their numerical advantage count, but they're unable to do so and Madrid easily hold on.
20' Both Kovacic and Sergio Ramos are really struggling, leaving Zinedine Zidane with a real headache as the duo receive medical treatment on opposite sides of the pitch. Kovacic seems to be the most hurt of the two, and it looks as if he may have to be replaced.
18' Madrid keep moving the ball around quickly as they continue to toy with the APOEL back line. Isco eventually manages to carve out a pocket of space for himself before poking a pass into the path of Ronaldo inside the box, but it's overhit and rolls behind for a goal-kick.
16' Ouch! Nuno Morais tries to take the ball out from the back but is clattered into by a late challenge from Kovacic, who receives a stern talking to from the less than impressed referee.
14' Ronaldo is picked out once again over at the far post, where he's left all alone by the sleeping APOEL defence. Another great ball into the box from Bale finds the Portuguese in front of goal, but this time he can only hit the side-netting with his downward header.
G. Bale
12' That really was an excellent low cross from Bale, who perfectly picked out Ronaldo in a pocket of space at the far post. However, the APOEL defence really should have done better to deal with the danger.
Cristiano Ronaldo
12' GOAL! Ronaldo gives Madrid the lead! The home side counter-attack quickly and manage to catch APOEL with far too many players at the other end of the pitch. Bale breaks down the left wing and into space before firing an absolutely brilliant cross over to the far post, where Ronaldo gets the better of Carlao and blasts in from close range.
11' Space opens up for Lago, allowing the full-back to charge down the left wing on a marauding run. He gets himself into a good position and then cuts a pass back to Ebecilio, who quickly shoots but can only scuff a poorly executed effort into the hands of Navas.
10' Thumping strike by Roberto Lago! Lorenzo Ebecilio is brought down by Mateo Kovacic, resulting in a free-kick for APOEL in a decent position. It's sent short to Lago and sets up the defender to shoot from 30 yards out, and his rocket of a shot is well dealt with by a smart save from Keylor Navas.
9' A perfectly placed curling cross from Marcelo flies into the middle of the APOEL penalty area and does well to pick out Gareth Bale in a promising position. The Welshman rises high and gets a head to the ball, but he can't keep his header down and sends it well wide of the goal.
8' Madrid quickly push forward once again after an attacking move is well dealt with by the visitors, resulting in a corner over on the right wing. It's swung in by Modric and almost picks out a white shirt in front of goal, but Jesus Rueda is there to clear the danger with a well-timed header.
6' Marcelo gets back to his feet once again, and the game quickly gets underway. Madrid push forward over on the right flank through Dani Carvajal, who links up nicely with Luka Modric, but the Croatian can't get the better of Efstathios Aloneftis and has to settle for a throw-in.
5' Marcelo looks to be in real pain over on the left flank, forcing Sergio Ramos into booting the ball out of play so he can receive medical treatment. He seemed to receive a stamp on the foot from Roland Sallai, who caught the Brazilian with a nasty challenge.
3' After a patient start to the game from Madrid, Casemiro tries to pick out Cristiano Ronaldo with a chipped pass into the heart of the penalty area. It's overhit though, and the ball comfortably bounces straight into the hands of Boy Waterman. APOEL are already sitting incredibly deep, and that looks set to continue for most of the evening.
1' We're off! Madrid get us underway, attacking from left to right.
The two sides are making their way out onto the pitch, with just a few minutes to go until kick-off.
Meanwhile, APOEL boss Giorgos Donis has made just two alterations to the team that featured in their last outing, with Agustin Farias and Ghayas Zahid making way for Vinicius and Efstathios Aloneftis.
Zinedine Zidane has decided to make six changes to the Madrid side that started the 1-1 draw with Levante on the weekend, with Keylor Navas, Luka Modric, Mateo Kovacic, Isco, Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale all returning to the starting line-up.
APOEL substitutes: Gudino, Farias, Antoniou, Merkis, Pote, Alexandrou, Zahid.
APOEL XI (4-4-2): Waterman; Vouros, Rueda, Carlao, Lago; Sallai, Morais, Vinicius, Aloneftis; De Camargo, Ebecilio.
Real Madrid substitutes: Casilla, Hernandez, Varane, Ceballos, Kroos, Mayoral, Vazquez.
Real Madrid XI (4-3-3): Navas; Carvajal, Nacho, Ramos, Marcelo; Modric, Casemiro, Kovacic; Isco, Ronaldo, Bale.
There’s just under 15 minutes left to go until kick-off, so let’s have a look at how the two teams will be lining up this evening…
APOEL enjoyed an excellent run in the 2011-12 edition of the Champions League, where they got the better of Zenit, Porto, Shakhtar Donetsk and Lyon to set up a quarter-final clash with Madrid. That was the last time the two sides met, and it was a two-legged clash that the Spanish side comfortably managed to win 8-2 on aggregate.
Despite their less than stellar start to the new season, Madrid should have few problems finding a way past their opponents, who are undoubtedly the minnows of the group. APOEL comfortably won their first game of the domestic campaign on the weekend but were made to work hard in the Champions League qualifying rounds, where they were almost knocked out by Romanian minnows Viitorul last month.
With Borussia Dortmund and Tottenham Hotspur also looking for a way out of Group H, it’s important Madrid don’t slip up against an APOEL side that have proved themselves capable of causing a few problems for the bigger clubs in recent years. Los Blancos also head into tonight’s clash on the back of disappointing draws against Valencia and Levante, leaving them in seventh place in LaLiga with three games played.
Just under three and a half months after they beat Juventus to win the Champions League for a record-extending 12th time, Madrid are in action once again as they start the defence of their crown. With three of the last four European titles going to the Spanish giants, they arguably start the competition favourites to win it once again, but being placed in a difficult group has left them needing a positive start to the campaign.
Good evening and welcome to our live text commentary of today’s Champions League group stage game between Real Madrid and APOEL at the Santiago Bernabeu.