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HindustanTimes Wed,03 Sep 2014

Football

Night of the shooting stars
Reuters
Paris, October 24, 2013
First Published: 23:50 IST(24/10/2013)
Last Updated: 01:30 IST(25/10/2013)
Cristiano Ronaldo beats Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon to score Real Madrid’s first goal. (Reuters Photo)

Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Cristiano Ronaldo come face-to-face next month when Sweden meet Portugal in a World Cup playoff and they sharpened their claws with six goals between them on a thrilling night of Champions League.

Ibrahimovic joined the select band of players to score four Champions League goals in one match as Paris St Germain won 5-0 at Anderlecht to consolidate their place at the top of Group C with a third straight win.

Ronaldo struck both goals for Real Madrid, one from the penalty spot, as they posted a 2-1 win over Juventus to also move to nine points in Group B.

Swede Ibrahimovic, who scored all four for Sweden nearly a year ago in a 4-2 friendly win over England, wrapped up a 19-minute hat-trick with a stunning right-foot 25-metre thunderbolt before adding a fourth goal after the break.

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That took his tally to 10 goals in five games for club and country and also put him 10th place on the all-time Champions League scoring list. Edinson Cavani scored PSG's other goal.

Third place
Ronaldo took his tally to seven goals in three Champions League matches this season and has scored 57 goals from 95 matches. Juventus finished with 10 men after Giorgio Chiellini was sent off early in the second half after brushing a rather theatrical Ronaldo with his arm.

"It was a very serious and rigorous decision," Juventus coach Antonio Conte said. "I'm told it was taken because Chiellini was the last man in front of goal, I don't know about that."

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Hundred million euro man Gareth Bale was again a substitute, replacing Karim Benzema with just over 20 minutes left.

"We have taken a very important step towards securing qualification," Real captain Iker Casillas said on UEFA.com. "It wasn't easy but we have taken the first step, getting nine points from three matches. We have to go to Turin and at least avoid defeat."

Ibrahimovic and Ronaldo were not the only top forwards amongst the goals on a night when 27 hit the net in the eight matches. Franck Ribery scored twice for Bayern Munich in a 5-0 win against Czech champions Viktoria Plzen. 

Manchester City's Sergio Aguero was another to get two as his side came from behind in Group D to win 2-1 at CSKA Moscow.


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