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Champions League wrap: Ronaldo leads Madrid; Besiktas posts big W

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Four terrific goals at Wembley Stadium were met by plenty more around the continent as the second batch of UEFA Champions League groups kicked off play on Wednesday.

[ LIVE: Champions League scores ]


Tottenham Hotspur 3-1 Borussia DortmundRECAP

Son started the scoring with a terrific solo run down the left flank, turning the corner on Sokratis and then blasting a shot over the shoulder of Roman Burki.

Yarmolenko looked an able addition with a wonderful curling rip from atop the 18 to make it 1-1.

That’s when Kane gave the match its third goal within the first 15 minutes, and Burki was again victimized short side. Kane’s shot swept around Burki and may’ve even just kissed the post on its way to Spurs’ 2-1 lead. He’d add a second later.

Feyenoord 0-4 Manchester CityRECAP

A John Stones brace? Why not?

This one was supposed to be a tougher ask for City, but Pep’s men have pulled into a controlling position through Stones’ second minute marker and a Sergio Aguero goal off a Kyle Walker cross in the 10th.

Gabriel Jesus deposited a rebound to make it 3-0 after ex-Liverpool man Brad Jones pushed Benjamin Mendy‘s shot back away from goal. Stones nabbed the club’s fourth goal in the second half, nodding a David Silva cross home.

Liverpool 2-2 SevillaRECAP

Sevilla’s attack was always going to ask questions of the Reds’ defense, and it’s Wissam Bin Yedder’s fifth minute goal that has Liverpool trailing at Anfield.

Predictably, Liverpool had an answer, and it was Roberto Firmino who knotted the score line with a 21st answer goal. Then Mohamed Salah, no stranger to European competition, did some work of his own to make it 2-1 before the break.

It looked set for 3-1, but a Sadio Mane-won penalty was put off the post by Firmino. That would come back to haunt the Reds, as Joaquin Correa was given acres of space to level the score in the 72nd minute.

Porto 1-3 Besiktas

Anderson Talisca, Cenk Tosun, and ex-Liverpool man Ryan Babel scored as Turkey’s powers opened their bid for a winnable group. It won’t be easy, and Dusko Tosic’s own goal briefly had it level in Portugal.

Real Madrid 3-0 APOEL Nicosia

Cristiano Ronaldo is okay when it comes to this UEFA Champions League thing, you know? The Portuguese 32-year-old scored two on the day, the second a penalty kick.

Sergio Ramos added to the fun with an overhead goal, as the reigning champs twice-over look fine at home.

Shakhtar Donetsk 2-1 Napoli

Raise your hand if you had Napoli down early in Ukraine. Those with ’em up have Taison to thank for the 15th minute opener, and feel downright psychic thanks to Facundo Ferreyra‘s second-half insurance goal. Arkadiusz Milik pulled one back for the visitors with a 71st minute penalty kick.

RB Leipzig 1-1 Monaco

Emil Forsberg scored for the hosts just after the half-hour mark at Germany’s Red Bull Arena, with Youri Tielemans not needing long to answer for the 2017 semifinalists.

Maribor 1-1 Spartak Moscow

Alexander Samedov, Russia’s lone goal scorer against Mexico at this summer’s Confederations Cup, scored Spartak’s goal at the Ljudski Vrt, but the hosts’ Damjan Bohar netted in the 85th minute to split the points.

No Monaco fans in Istanbul for Champions League match

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PARIS (AP) Monaco says it won’t organize a trip for its fans to travel to Turkish side Besiktas when the clubs meet in the Champions League in November.

Monaco says the French body in charge of the fight against hooliganism has advised the club against bringing supporters to Istanbul.

Besiktas will be hosting Monaco on Nov. 1 in Group G of the Champions League.

Monaco says it won’t ask Besiktas to open the away fans area in the stadium and asked its fans not to travel on their own.

Report: Orlando City has rejected Besiktas’ bid for Cyle Larin

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It’s only been a few days since Orlando City acquired U.S. Men’s National Team striker Dom Dwyer in a trade with Sporting KC, but the Lions are continuing to receive interest for another prized front man.

[ MORE: MLS at Week 22 preview — Schmid, Galaxy host Sounders in debut ]

According to Goal USA, Orlando has rejected a bid from Turkish outfit Besiktas for striker Cyle Larin, with the European side reportedly “nowhere close to the valuation placed on Larin by the Major League Soccer club.”

Besiktas is the reigning back-to-back Turkish league champions and have had interest in Larin for some time.

The 22-year-old Larin is in his third MLS season with the Lions and has scored 39 goals in that span for the Eastern Conference side. In addition to his quick rise in MLS, Larin has made himself known on the international scene as one of Canada’s most promising young talents, along with the likes of Vancouver Whitecaps attacker Alphonso Davies.

Pepe’s Real Madrid exit confirmed; Besiktas move complete

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Pepe was an ever-present, and ever-antagonistic, servant to Real Madrid for an entire, trophy-filled decade (eight major trophies lifted), but the Portuguese defender’s stay at the Santiago Bernabeu is complete.

[ MORE: American in the PL — Williams signs on at Huddersfield ]

The 34-year-old has joined Turkish side Besiktas on a free transfer following the expiration of his Madrid contract last week.

Having made nearly 350 appearances for Los Blancos, it was announced following Madrid’s UEFA Champions League triumph, Pepe’s third such victory at the club, that his contract wouldn’t be renewed.

[ MORE: Tuesday’s transfer rumor roundup | Monday | Sunday ]

Pepe reportedly underwent a medical at Paris Saint-Germain before opting to join the reigning Turkish champions instead.

Newcastle linked with trio of players from three leagues

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Newcastle United could be on the verge of not just its first, but its second and third new names of the offseason.

That doesn’t count their purchase of Christian Atsu from Chelsea after the Ghanaian spent last season on loan at St. James Park.

So who are the names reportedly heading to Rafa Benitez in Northeast England?

[ REPORT: Whitecaps bid for Besiktas’ Hutchinson ]

  • Cameroon striker Vincent Aboubakar could make his way to England after the Magpies reportedly offered him $3 million per year in wages. Rennes was also said to be interested in the Porto striker, who spent last season on loan at Besiktas (The Express).
  • The same report says Newcastle have triggered an $11 million release clause from Eibar defender Florian Lejeune. The 26-year-old is a center back who can also handled defensive midfielder, and was by far Eibar’s best player last season according to advanced stats site Squawka.
  • Torino midfielder Afriyie Acquah has said he’s got a move to England planned to the tune of “90 percent complete.” Fans are connecting the dots after Acquah followed Newcastle United on Twitter on Monday. 2017!

Lejeune is especially interesting given he signed for Manchester City but never made an appearance for them. Aboubakar has 57 caps with 17 goals for Cameroon, and is coming off his best club season since 2013. Acquah is a bit of an unknown at club level, and has 18 caps for Ghana.