So, thanks for your company, and see you again soon. Night-night.
- 2nd Half
- De CamargoPoté83'
- Cristiano Ronaldo (P)51'
- 1st Half
- Cristiano Ronaldo12'
Real Madrid - APOEL Nicosia
Champions League - 14 September 2017
Champions League – Follow the Football match between Real Madrid and APOEL Nicosia live with Eurosport. The match starts at 02:45 on 14 September 2017. Our live coverage lets you follow all the key moments as they happen.
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So, easy as you like for Madrid who are still very good. It'll take a good side to beat them.
Full-time: Real Madrid 3-0 Apoel
Kroos breaks through midfield and slides a ball out to Ronaldo who bears down into the box and slides into the middle for Mayoral to tap home ... but had strayed offside. Presumably he heard the whistle, as that was most out of character.
There shall be three added minutes.
Farias slides in and gets a bit of the top of the ball, but a bit of the bottom of Marcelo, and is booked. I'm not sure that was necessary.
We've been winding down for 20 minutes; we still are.
Modric lifts in another cross, this time to the back post, where Casemiro turns up for reasons unclear. He nods back, but can't quite find Ronaldo.
*Snigger*. Modric slides a cross over to Ronaldo and he slips home, but he was offside by a yard or so. And completely unnecessarily.
Pote replaces De Camargo.
Mayoral is on for Bale.
By all accounts, Spurs-Dortmund is a belter. Wembley must be struggling how to process such an oddity.
Madrid haven't exactly declared, but they're not busting arses.
Sevilla have equalised at Anfield. That Liverpool defence is rubbish.
Aloneftis runs down the left and moves inside, bundling through Nacho and forcing the ball into the swing of De Camargo. But with Ramos in tight, he can only send the ball wide of the near post.
Carvajal crosses from the right and Ronaldo gets to it, but only impart sufficient glance to take the ball across the face of goal.
I wonder where and when Ceballos will get to play. Those in front of him are just so very, very good.
And a change for Apoel: Zahid replaces Ebecilio
Change for Madrid: Ceballos replaces Isco, which should be fun.
Yes. But in football's previous incarnation, many of the poorer sides had state support, so.
Apoel are well bedraggled now.
Isoc finds the ball again, and moving towards the box, could slip Ronaldo in again. But this time he elects to shoot, dragging just wide.
Isco slips Ronaldo in, wide left of the box. He doesn't have much for which to aim, so directs a shot into Waterman's knees.
Not sure he's on Twitter at the moment, but chances are he knows in any case.
Elsewhere: just after having a legitimate goal ruled out for offside, Borussia Dortmund find themselves 3-1-down to Spurs. Meanwhile, Man City lead Feyenoord 4-0 and John Stones is on a hat-trick.
Ebecilio is late on Kroos, incurring a booking for his trouble.
Just before the goal, Farias replaced Sallai.
GOAL! Real Madrid 3-0 Apoel Nicosia (Sergo Ramos) Ramos finds Marcelo and keeps going, so that when the cross comes in and Bale's header hits Roberto Lago, he's in position to attempt an overhead kick, six yards out. He only gets the ball with the tips of his toes, but it's enough.
Ronaldo slides a pass across the face of the box for Isco, who tries a free-kick-style shot from just outside it, right-hand side - think Beckham v Spurs on the final day of 98-99. Burt his aim isn't as good and the ball flies over.
Casemiro snaps a low pass infield for Modric, who leaps to allow the ball off his standing leg - that's beautiful - but Carlao blocks off Ronaldo, alongside him.
Isco looks to spread play from touchline to touchline, instead whacking it out of play. Rubbish, him.
After a short period of nothing, Kroos makes room for a shot inside the d, lashing high and wide.
Modric attacks the box and shifts the ball inside for Ronaldo, whp passes it behind his standing leg, diddling Roberto Lago, who clips him. But the ball runs onto Isco, whose low shot is blocked by Waterman; naturally Ronaldo thinks he should have a penalty and he's right - the ref should've brought that back.
Sallai is late on Kroos, and is booked.
Carvajal is late on Roberto Lago, and is booked.
GOAL! Real Madrid 2-0 Apoel Nicosia (Ronaldo pen) Ronaldo drives his kick into the bottom left and dashes to retrieve the ball, hat-trick hunting.
PENALTY MADRID! Kroos spreads left to Bale, who crosses to no one, only for Roberto Lago to jut an upper arm at the ball! Silly behaviours.
Ok, here we are again. Madrid are camped in the Apoel half...
We're away again, except my previously rock-solid stream has forsaken me.
Ronaldo is still whining as the teams leave the pitch, but Madrid haven't played especially well. Their bottom level is still far too good for Apoel, but they've only had one shot on target, I think - the goal - and as such, their opponents are still in the game.
Half-time: Real Madrid 1-0 Apoel Nicosia
Ramos finds Ronaldo, who drives at Vouros, skates off the touchline, past him, and into the box, then skews a shot wide. He wants a penalty, partly because Vouros put in and removed a foot, but mainly because it just isn't fair.
There shall be three added minutes.
Not much is going on for the now.
At Anfield, Liverpool now lead Sevilla 2-1 but Roberto Firmino, who scored their first goal, has missed a penalty.
Madrid are spending a lot of time 25 yards from the Apoel goal. So Casemiro tries a scoop, lifting the ball over the defensive line for Ronaldo, but Rueda does very well to get in the road and Waterman is thusly able to claim.
Apoel get a free-kick inside the Madrid half but instead of putting the ball in the box they play a short pass, and lose possession to Marcelo. Madrid break, and Ronaldo, Bale and Isco all have touches before Ronaldo pokes wide from the edge of the box.
In a way, this is too easy for Madrid. Because they're certain they'll win, they're not working their passes around the box with their usual sharpness, and hitting a lot of shots from outside the box.
It's been quite some time since Apoel were able to leave their own half.
Bale is enjoying himself, and after Kroos lofts him a ball out on the left he cushions it back into the middle, first time; Ronaldo gets a touch, but couldn't quite catch up with it to have a proper hack at goal.
Our director decides to show us a montage of Isco and his otherworldly footwork. He might just be the best player in the world right now; his dexterity, agility and appreciation of space are unfathomable.
Marcelo - the great Marcelo - is giving Apoel all manner of aggro, and he wins a corner down the left. Kroos swings it in, and Bale is first to show, heading high from the near post area.
Roberto Firmino has equalised for Liverpool; Gabriel Jesus has put City 3-0 ahead.
Ramos clatters Vinicius on halfway, giving the Apoel defence brief respite. But seconds later Ronaldo is at them again, winning a corner along the left by-line. Apoel get it away, but Kross then tees up Modric, who dummeies the blocker, then cracks a shot into the nearest next blocker.
Carvajal crosses from the right but Vouros is there to head away before Bale can put him under.
Madrid are so confident they've not bothered sticking the ball out to get Kroos on, and instead are probing, pulling Apoel about this way and that before running out of position deep down their right. Kroos now comes on.
What sort of sick formation is this? Crouch, men!
It's looking very much like Kovacic is done, which will be a right nause for someone who won't expect to play that much. But he strained something sending a simple pass to Marcelo with no opponent anywhere near him and is now walking around the pitch close to tears by the look on his coupon. Presumably Kroos will soon be with us; poor old Apoel.
Madrid are camped in Apoel's half now, though credit to the Cypriots, they haven't just come to defend. Meanwhile, Kovacic has hurt himself and goes down to take treatment.
Wow, it's all going on. Spurs now lead Dortmund 2-1 and City now lead Feyenoord 2-0.
Ronaldo has scored 106 Champions League goals in 141 Champions League games; when he joined Madrid, he had 16 in 51. Ludicrous.
Bale, on the left again, sends over another cross - whipped this time - and Ronaldo, at the back post, stoops to head just wide. I think Madrid might win this one.
GOAL! Real Madrid 1-0 Apoel Nicosia (Ronaldo) Well that didn't take long; welcome to harsh reality, Apoel. Madrid break, Isco dipping inside his man and carrying the ball deep into the Apoel half before feeding Bale down the left. He measures a perfect low cross to the back post, which Ronaldo cleverly redirects into the opposite corner.
Oh aye! Roberto Lago mooches down the left, crosses low, and De Camargo is there! But he can't control properly and botches his shot.
Apoel win a free-kick, 35 yards out on the left, and Ebecilio looks to pump it into the box ... except he doesn't squaring to Roberto Lago instead, who drives hard towards goal! It's straight at Keylor Navas, though, and he tips over.
Not been much of a start, this, but Kovacic lays back to Marcelo, who crosses into the middle where Carlao does enough to put Bale off, and he heads over the top.
An Anfield, Sevilla lead Liverpool, which is no great surprise; there's is not a defence built for this competition.
Modric pings a ball out to Carvajal, who drives a corner into some shins, earning a corner. It comes to nothing.
Sallai jumps across Marcelo with no chance of getting the ball and knees meet ribs. There's a pause while he recovers.
Elsewhere, both Spurs and Man City lead, against Dortmund and Feyenoord respectively, Son and Stones with the goals.
Casemiro collides with one of the Apoel players - I didn't quite see which - but he's currently off the park.
Marcelo has space to cross so does, but Roberto Lago leaps to flick away before Ronaldo can impose his will/
Bale is on the right, Isco the left and Ronaldo in the middle.
It takes26 seconds for Rueda to stick one on Ronaldo, who laughts it off.
Madrid set us away!
I wonder who'll play in the middle doe Madrid, Bale or Ronaldo. The display reckons Ronaldo; I'm not so sure.
Hands are clapped at 45 degrees.
Out come the teams!
For their part, Apoel have been champions of Cyprus in each of the last five seasons, and aren't clowns. Madrid haven't started the season especially well, so they might fancy themselves to make this difficult.
Other great left-backs I have watched: Maldini, Roberto Carlos (bit not for the free-kicks), Ashley Cole, Patrice Evra. The first two were the best, and I'm not sure either offered as much going forward as Marcelo, though both were better defensively.
This lad is a player. Not sure there've been many better in his position.
I was asked who I thought would win the Champions League, and I went for Barcelona, mainly because I can't see a team winning it three times on the spin. Good though Madrid are, they just don't seem an era-defining team, perhaps because they don't represent anything, which, of course, is no criterion via which to answer that question. But they're just not as obviously superior to the opposition as Guardiola's Barcelona, and they couldn't pull off three in a row - they couldn't pull off two in a row - so that's where I am.
So Madrid have Nacho instead of Varane, Kovacic instead of Kroos and Bale instead of Benzema or the injured Asensio (whose leg got infected after he shaved it). I think they might still pull this one off.
And Apoel line up like this:
This is their team tonight:
Evening all and welcome to Madrid's second consecutive defence of their Champions League title. Can they cement their place amongst the greats with a third win in a row?