• Champions League round-up

Ibrahimovic and Ronaldo set Europe alight

ESPN staff
October 23, 2013
Is Ibrahimovic the best player in the world?

Only one of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Cristiano Ronaldo will be at next year's World Cup, but both set the Champions League stage alight on Wednesday night with emphatic performances.

Ibrahimovic struck four times in a 5-0 rout for PSG against Anderlecht in Belgium, while Ronaldo took less than five minutes to open the scoring against Juventus as Real Madrid won a pulsating match 2-1.

The pair will face off for their respective countries next month as Portugal and Sweden meet in the play-offs for next summer's World Cup, and it will be an unmissable double-header if Wednesday's star turns were anything to go by.

Ibrahimovic scored two stunning goals to complete his hat-trick within 36 minutes against Anderlecht, then added a fourth in the second half following a strike from Edinson Cavani. The third of Ibrahimovic's goals was clocked at over 100 kilometres per hour.

Ronaldo had an equally lively night, putting Real Madrid ahead on four minutes then repeating the trick with a 28th-minute penalty after Fernando Llorente had equalised for Juventus in the Bernabeu. The Portuguese was then the centre of attention again when he was felled by the stray arm of Giorgio Chiellini in the second half, with the Juventus man being shown a red card.

The results mean PSG and Real Madrid both top their respective groups with a perfect nine points from three games. Ronaldo and Ibrahimovic have scored 13 goals between them in the Champions League so far, which is more than any team's overall tally.

Galatasaray eased to a 3-1 victory over FC Copenhagen with three first-half goals enough to secure a win which keeps their qualification hopes alive.

Felipe Melo, Wesley Sneijder and Didier Drogba all found the net in a largely one-sided match between two sides trying to hang on the coat-tails of Real Madrid and Juventus.

There was time for Domingues Claudemir to get a late consolation for the visitors, but it will bring little comfort on the journey home.

Oscar Cardozo bundled home a late equaliser for Benfica as Jorge Jesus's side salvaged a 1-1 draw with Olympiakos in Portugal.

Alejandro Dominguez had given the visitors a 29th-minute lead in torrential rain at the Stadium of Light and the Greek side clung on until seven minutes from time when Cardozo struck.

The result leaves both teams locked together on four points in the group having overcome Anderlecht and been well beaten by group leaders PSG in their opening games.

Stefan Kiessling shrugged off the controversy over his 'ghost' goal to score twice in a 4-0 thrashing of Shakhtar Donetsk which put Bayer Leverkusen in a strong position to progress.

The win moved Bayer above their Group A rivals at the halfway stage, lifting them up to second.

Bayern Munich continued the perfect defence of their title as they produced a stunning attacking display to beat Viktoria Plzen 5-0 at the Allianz Arena.

The Bundesliga champions could have been out of sight by half-time but had only a Franck Ribery penalty and a David Alaba goal to show for their efforts.

But two goals in three minutes from Ribery and Bastian Schweinsteiger and a late strike from Mario Goetze moved Pep Guardiola's men three points clear at the top.

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