Soccer: European giants open with wins

Wayne Rooney reached the 200-goal mark for Manchester United by scoring twice in a 4-2 win over Bayer Leverkusen. Photo / Getty
Wayne Rooney reached the 200-goal mark for Manchester United by scoring twice in a 4-2 win over Bayer Leverkusen. Photo / Getty

Defending European champions Bayern Munich cruised to a 3-0 victory over CSKA Moscow on Tuesday as fellow European giants Manchester United and Real Madrid went goal crazy.

The Bavarians carried on from where they left off last season in the May final at Wembley as Austria left-back David Alaba got Pep Guardiola's side off to a flying start in their Group D clash with a stunning fourth-minute free-kick.

Croatia striker Mario Mandzukic then knocked home an Arjen Robben free-kick, despite television replays suggesting three Munich players were offside, four minutes before halftime.

Robben wrapped up the scoring midway through the second half from the excellent Alaba's lofted pass.

Wayne Rooney chalked up 200 goals for United with a brace as the English champions cantered to victory at Old Trafford in manager David Moyes's Champions League group-stage debut against Bayer Leverkusen.

Beaten 4-2, it could have been worse for the visitors as both United's star forwards Rooney and Robin van Persie incredibly missed open goals, although the Germans also hit the woodwork in a thrilling Group A encounter.

A controversial first-half volley from Rooney, in which Patrice Evra was offside before crossing and Antonio Valencia clearly impeded goalkeeper Bernd Leno, gave the hosts the lead before the England striker astonishingly missed an open goal to double the advantage having rounded Leno.

After the break Simon Rolfes's deflected strike, which was going wide until it hit Michael Carrick, brought the Germans level, only for Van Persie's acrobatic volley to restore United's lead.

Rooney made amends for his earlier miss by taking advantage of a defensive error to beat Leno at his near post. Valencia then rounded off a vintage United counter-attack with a sizzling low drive that seemed to go through Leno.

Omer Toprak pulled back another goal following a scramble in the United box from a Leverkusen corner that saw Stefan Reinartz head against the bar, but there was still time for Van Persie to prod wide a Valencia cross and outdo Rooney for worst open-goal miss of the night.

Madrid went two better than United as Cristiano Ronaldo scored a hat-trick in a crushing 6-1 win at Galatasaray in Group B.

Isco opened the scoring for the Spaniards, for whom Gareth Bale made his Champions League debut in the famous white shirt as a second-half substitute, while Karim Benzema netted a brace.

Umut Bulut pulled back a late consolation with the score at 5-0.

In other games, Manchester City got their first Champions League win for two years with a comfortable 3-0 success at Viktoria Pilsen in Group D.

Former European Cup winners Benfica began with a 2-0 success over Anderlecht with first-half goals from Filip Djuricic and Luisao.

In the other game in Group C, big-spending Paris Saint-Germain recorded a handsome 4-1 success at Olympiakos.

Italian giants Juventus had to come from behind to snatch a draw at FC Copenhagen in Group B.

Real Sociedad's return to the Champions League after a 10-year European hiatus ended in defeat as Brazilian Alex Teixeira netted a brace in a 2-0 win for Shakhtar Donetsk in San Sebastian in Group A.

-AFP

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on red akl_n4 at 31 Jul 2014 00:35:30 Processing Time: 801ms