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Champions League roundup: Foxes, Man City cruise, Spurs fall, Pulisic starts

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Tuesday’s lightning storm made for three Premier League teams in action during Wednesday’s UEFA Champions League group stage games.

Two of the three squads will be happy with their days, while a third will lament a slow start at Wembley Stadium.

[ MORE: Dempsey returns from heartbeat ailment ]

Elsewhere, Sporting Lisbon sent a wake-up call to Real Madrid, USMNT teenager Christian Pulisic became the youngest player to start a UCL game in Borussia Dortmund history, and four other matches played out around Europe.

Club Brugge 0-3 Leicester City

Marc Albrighton was in the right place at the right time to capitalize on a goalkeeping error in the fifth minute, but Leicester’s second goal was nothing short of brilliant. Riyad Mahrez swept in a free kick in the 29th minute to double the lead, and converted a second half penalty to shore up the lead.

Legia Warsaw 0-6 Borussia Dortmund

Christian Pulisic went all 90 minutes for Dortmund, assisting on the game’s final goal, as the young USMNT star became the youngest BVB player to start a UCL match.

BVB scored the three fastest away goals to start a match in UCL history. Mario Gotze netted in the 7th minute before Sokratis Papastathopoulos made it 2-0 eight minutes later and Marc Bartra notched a goal in the 17th. Raphael Guerreiro added a second-half goal for BVB, while substitute Gonzalo Castro scored off Pulisic’s assist and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang finished the score line.

Dortmund's Mario Goetze, center, celebrates with Christian Pulisic, right, after scoring the first goal of his team during the Champions League Group F soccer match between Legia Warsaw and Dortmund at Stadion Wojska Polskiego in Warsaw, Poland, Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2016. (AP Photo/Alik Keplicz)
(AP Photo/Alik Keplicz)

Manchester City 4-0 Borussia Monchengladbach

Sergio Aguero marked his return to the City lineup in style, scoring in the ninth minute before adding a 28th minute penalty to give the hosts a 2-0 lead at the break.

The Argentine completed his hat trick in the final quarter-hour, taking a pass from Raheem Sterling and dancing around ‘Gladbach keeper Yann Sommer to make it 3-0. Kelechi Iheanacho scored late to seal the score.

Juventus 0-0 Sevilla

The Old Lady was decidedly more dangerous, but Juve could not find a way past Sevilla backstop Sergio Rico.

Bayer Leverkusen 2-2 CSKA Moscow

Admir Mehmedi and Hakan Calhanoglu boosted the Bundesliga mainstays to a 2-0 lead after 15 minutes, but the Russians did not shrink away. Alan Dzagoev and Roman Eremenko scored two minutes apart to make it level at halftime.

Lyon 3-0 Dinamo Zagreb

Corentin Tolisso, 22, scored the first goal of the game in the 13th minute, and Jordan Ferri tacked on an insurance goal in the second half. Ivorian-born French striker Maxwel Cornet completed the scoring in the 57th minute.

Tottenham Hotspur 1-2 AS Monaco

Bernardo Silva and Thomas Lemar rained on Spurs parade, building a 2-0 lead at Wembley Stadium before Toby Alderweireld headed Erik Lamela‘s corner home just before halftime.

Real Madrid 2-1 Sporting Lisbon

After Real looked disinterested in the first half, Sporting went ahead with a shock goal at the start of the second half. Bruno Cesar curled a left-footed shot around a diving Keylor Navas in the 47th minute, and Lisbon was up 1-0.

Cristiano Ronaldo should’ve tied things with his former club when, with 8 minutes to play, he nailed his close range shot right at the left post. The 89th minute however, found him in his comfort zone. Ronaldo buried a free kick from 25-plus yards to tie things at 1.

But Alvaro Morata headed James Rodriguez’s cross past Rui Patricio for a winner in the fifth minute of stoppage time, and Real claimed all three points in Spain.

Here’s Ronaldo’s finish.

Porto 1-1 Copenhagen

Otavio’s 13th minute goal for the hosts was set level when ex-Cardiff City “bust” Andreas Cornelius scored in the 52nd minute.

Josef Martinez scores 2 more in win, including sensational solo work

AP Photo/John Minchillo
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Josef Martinez scored his 25th and 26th goals of the MLS season, and if he challenges his MLS record of 31, he may also stare down soccer royalty.

The Venezuelan striker scored two more on Wednesday in a 2-0 defeat of FC Cincinnati in Ohio to give him goals in 15-straight league contests.

He now has 76 goals in 80 MLS games, which is good.

[ MORE: Champions League wrap ]

On the season, he’s six goals shy of matching the Major League Soccer record he set with last season’s 31 regular season goals.

According to MLSSoccer.com, he’s six games shy of tying Lionel Messi’s world record for consecutive league matches with a goal.

Even that’s a little tricky: Messi scored in 21-straight games in which he was eligible for selection, but 19-straight before missing two matches for injury. In that remarkable run of 21, he also had a run of six-straight braces.

It’s not really worth it to attempt to compare the two streaks: If Martinez gets to 21 (or even 19), it’s amazing stuff and worth celebrating on a worldwide level. Everyone has a bad game every now and again, but Martinez still finds the score sheet in ’em.

Look at the magician’s tricks he used for this one, including a back heel first touch and two freeze-frame cut moves. That’s not even mentioning the finish.

USWNT announces final matches of World Cup-winning year

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CHICAGO (AP) The Women’s World Cup champion U.S. team will wrap up 2019 with matches against Sweden and Costa Rica.

U.S. Soccer announced Wednesday that the U.S. will face Sweden in Columbus, Ohio, on Nov. 7 and Costa Rica in Jacksonville, Florida, on Nov. 10.

[ MORE: Champions League wrap ]

The team is wrapping up its World Cup victory tour next month with matches against South Korea on Oct. 3 in Charlotte, North Carolina, and on Oct. 6 in Chicago.

Coach Jill Ellis is stepping down following the match in Chicago after leading the team to a pair of consecutive World Cup titles.

The United States is 15-1-2 this year and currently riding a 14-game winning streak.

More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/apf-Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports

Report: Mane to get big raise, Liverpool contract through 2025

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Liverpool’s Senegalese sensation looks set to stay at Anfield deep into his 30s.

Sadio Mane is in talks with the Reds hierarchy over a new deal that will run through 2024-25, and pay him more than $15 million per season.

[ MORE: Champions League wrap ]

Mane, 27, currently has a deal through 2023, but surely wouldn’t mind a raise. And Liverpool will be happy to tie him down on Merseyside a bit longer.

He’s scored six times in seven matches this season, also grabbing an assist. That’s on a better pace than his 26 goals and five assists over 50 appearances in 2018/19.

Mane has 70 Premier League goals at the moment. Do you tip him to eclipse 100 while still at Anfield? 125?

Europa League preview: Man Utd, Wolves, Arsenal begin group stage

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The Europa League begins its group stage on Thursday, with the three Premier League combatants taking on clubs from Kazakhstan, Portugal and Germany.

Manchester United’s kids are gonna get some playing time when Astana visits Old Trafford on Wednesday.

Teenager Mason Greenwood and 21-year-old Axel Tuanzebe will start, and Sergio Romero will be between the sticks.

[ MORE: Champions League wrap ]

And the Manchester Evening News notes that Tahith Chong and Angel Gomes could also start at Old Trafford, meaning the veterans in the fray will be quite important.

Enter Fred, the forgotten $68 million man from Shaktar Donetsk. The 23 minutes he played last week versus Leicester City account for his lone time on the pitch this season.

Here’s Ole Gunnar Solskjaer:

“I’m sure we’ll see more and more of Fred. We spoke about it earlier, he’s had some great games in midfield with Scott against PSG and Arsenal, for example, and we’re just waiting for that to flourish.”

Fred had an odd record under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer last season, barely in the squad when the team started hot but trusted against PSG and Barcelona in the Champions League.

Speaking of little-used midfielders, Arsenal boss Unai Emery is getting a little grief for leaving Mesut Ozil behind for the Gunners’ trip to Germany for a big match with Eintracht Frankfurt.

Ozil made his first start of the season in Arsenal’s 2-2 draw with Watford at the weekend, playing 71 minutes and departing with the club up 2-1.

So why not even bring him abroad? Rest.

“Because we are going to play another match on Sunday,” Emery said, via The London Evening Standard. “My decision is because he played and also I’m thinking tomorrow the focus and the first 11 and after that I decided who are the players who can be the best for tomorrow and also the players not and that is Sokratis and Mesut.”

Sokrastis Papastathopoulos is also out, having played a big role in the embarrassing performance at Watford.

There have been tough times for Wolves as well, who sit in the relegation zone after five matches of the Premier League season.

They’ve been quite good in Europa League, though, dispatching a pair of minnows before winning both legs against Serie A side Torino.

Why the inconsistency? It’s not fixture congestion, according to Ruben Neves:

“I don’t think fatigue has anything to do with it, Neves said, via The Birmingham Mail. “We’re all top players, we’re used to it, we’re used to playing a lot of games in quick succession. I don’t think the Europa League has (anything) to do with our position in the Premier League. Obviously, we haven’t had the start that we’ve wanted, but it’s been a beautiful journey into the Europa League. This is a historic moment for Wolves and we’re going to do our best in this competition.”

Nuno Espirito Santo‘s men are in Portugal to meet Braga, one of three tricky opponents in Besiktas and Slovan Bratislava.

Full slate

12:55 p.m. ET
CFR Cluj v. Lazio
LASK v. Rosenborg
Getafe v. Trabzonspor
PSV Eindhoven v. Sporting Lisbon
Basel v. Krasnodar
APOEL Nicosia v. Dudelange
Copenhagen v. Lugano
Standard Liege v. Vitoria SC
Qarabag v. Sevilla
Eintracht Frankfurt v. Arsenal
Rennes v. Celtic
Dynamo Kiev v. Malmo

3 p.m. ET
Wolfsburg v. Oleksandriya
Espanyol v. Ferencvaros
Rangers v. Feyenoord
Porto v. Young Boys
Slovan Bratislava v. Besiktas
Borussia Monchengladbach v. Wolfsberg
Partizan v. AZ Alkmaar
AS Roma v. Istanbul Basaksehir
Gent v. Saint-Etienne
Manchester United v. Astana
Wolves v. Braga
Ludogorets Razgrad v. CSKA Moscow