Holders Real Madrid had Cristiano Ronaldo and a bit of luck to thank for as the former fashioned an impressive 3-1 win over Borussia Dortmund at the Signal Iduna Park to continue their winning start to the UEFA Champions League season.
Gareth Bale got the visitors off to a flyer with a thunderous side-footed volley after Dani Carvajal’s cross had found him unmarked inside the box in the 18th minute.
The host, flying high in the Bundesliga, had lost their Champions League opener to Tottenham Hotspur and knew a second consecutive defeat would make their progression hopes difficult. They mustered a strong fightback but were unable to breach Keylor Navas’ goal in the first-half.
Madrid captain and defensive stalwart Sergio Ramos was having a fine game, shackling Dortmund striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang fairly well. But, the Spaniard was lucky not to concede a penalty after handling the ball on the goal-line before Bale’s opener.
Dortmund, surprisingly, opted to bench in-form winger Christian Pulisic and in his absence, Maximilian Philip and Andriy Yarmolenko were giving Aubameyang company in attack.
Seeking to overturn the deficit, the host poured forward at every opportunity and made the game an end-to-end one, with Real hitting back with pace on the counter.
Bale would sting Roman Burkl’s palms with a fierce drive from out wide but it was Dortmund who would squander a golden opportunity to score the second goal of the game.
Aubameyang, on fire this season, was presented with a simple one-on-one, but somehow contrived to send his effort wide of Navas’ post in late in the first-half.
The second period began with Dortmund rueing their Gabonese striker’s profligacy for Ronaldo would guide home Bale’s cross to double the visitors’ lead barely minutes after Raphael Varane had made an incredible goal-line clearance.
Aubameyang reduced the deficit in the 54th minute to raise hopes of a Die Borussen comeback but it was not to be and Real were assured of the victory when Ronaldo doubled his tally for the night with a powerful finish from an acute angle in the 79th minute.
In the other Group H match on the night, Premier League side Tottenham Hotspur beat Apoel Nicosia 3-0 thanks to a hat-trick from Harry Kane. The English side are now jointly-topping the group with Real as both teams have six points and a goal difference of +6 after two games played.