Real Madrid takes on Legia Warsaw in Champions League
ABS-CBN Sports on Oct 18, 2016 10:36 AM
Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo, background, controls the ball with teammates during a training session at the team's Valdebebas training ground in Madrid, Monday, Oct. 17, 2016. Real Madrid will play a Champions League group F soccer match against Legia Warsaw on Tuesday. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)
TALES AZZONI, AP Sports Writer
MADRID (AP) — The goals keep coming for Cristiano Ronaldo, and they seem to be making Legia Warsaw a bit nervous.
The Portugal forward scored five goals with his national team during the break, and added another for Real Madrid in a Spanish league win over Real Betis.
The defending champions will next face Legia in the Champions League on Tuesday.
"Hey @Cristiano, congratulations on scoring another goal!" Legia wrote on Twitter last week. "Hope you're now out of ammo for Legia next week."
Ronaldo is two goals shy of becoming the first player to score 100 career goals in European club competitions.
Here is a look at the groups playing Tuesday:
The match between Bayer Leverkusen and Tottenham brings striker Son Heung-min back to the stadium that was his home from 2013-15, when the South Korean scored 29 goals in 87 appearances for Leverkusen.
Son was the Premier League's player of the month for September and has four goals this season. He was nearly lured away by Wolfsburg before this season but has been excellent in England in the absence of injured striker Harry Kane.
The game is crucial for Leverkusen, which has only two points from two matches. The German side is unbeaten at home in Europe since November 2014, with four wins and four draws.
Tottenham has three points, one less than Monaco, which plays at CSKA Moscow. The Russian side is last with one point and has a poor home record in the competition, with one win in its last nine home matches.
Real Madrid couldn't have asked for a better opponent to try to keep its momentum in the Champions League.
After beating Real Betis 6-1 in the Spanish league to end a run of four consecutive draws, Madrid gets to face Legia Warsaw, which is desperately trying to turn its season around after a chaotic start.
"We must start well and make it difficult for them from the start," Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane said Monday. "A lot of people say that there are differences between the teams. We're playing the same competition and, if there is a difference, we must show that out on the field."
The two teams meet again in Poland in November.
"We will go into the game strong," Madrid midfielder Francisco "Isco" Alarcon said. "We know that these two games will have a big impact on our place at the top of our Champions League group."
Legia, which on Friday lost for the eighth time in 13 games, has the second-worst defense in the Champions League with eight goals conceded in two games. It lost 6-0 at home to Borussia Dortmund in the Group F opener. The Polish club has already made a coaching change but it continues to struggle.
"We can win if we do it right," Legia coach Jacek Magiera said. "Right now it's 0-0 and both sides have possibilities. It's been proven that underdogs know how to play football and get a good result. We came here to play our best and whatever happens, happens."
Madrid, which has won eight straight at home in the Champions League, is trying to become the first team to win back-to-back titles since the new tournament format was created in 1992-93.
Borussia Dortmund, which is tied with Madrid at the top of the group with four points, plays at Sporting Lisbon, which is only one point behind the leaders.
With more losses after eight matches than all of last season, Leicester is struggling to defend the Premier League title. The focus seems to be on Europe, with even Riyad Mahrez on the bench in Saturday's loss to Chelsea.
"Last season we were not in this world, we were out of this world," Leicester manager Claudio Ranieri said. "And now we come back into the world and we have to react."
That reaction is in the Champions League, where Leicester is making the most of its debut. After winning their opening two matches, Leicester hosts FC Copenhagen on Tuesday. The other Group G game is a meeting of the two winless teams, with FC Porto hosting Club Brugge.
Paulo Dybala is finding his form at the right time for Juventus.
The Argentina forward had a great debut season at Juventus but struggled at the start of the current campaign.
However, after breaking his drought in Zagreb, Dybala scored for the third straight match on Saturday, netting twice as Juventus rallied to beat Udinese 2-1.
"We'll keep going without worrying about what the other sides are doing," Dybala said. "We're thinking only about ourselves."
The Italian side leads the group, above Sevilla on goal difference and one point above Lyon, the team's next opponent.
Sevilla visits Dinamo Zagreb, which has zero points and also failed to score in its opening two matches.