- Champions League
Bale cameo helps Real to 6-1 winESPN staff September 17, 2013
Gareth Bale made his first Champions League appearance in three years from the bench as Real Madrid ran riot in the second half against Galatasaray to lay down a marker with a 6-1 triumph.
Although Galatasaray started strongly, they crumbled after Isco made the breakthrough late in the first half as Cristiano Ronaldo, with a hat-trick, and Karim Benzema feasted on some poor defending. Bale came on midway through the second half and created one of Ronaldo's goals. There was a late consolation for the hosts from Umut Bulut, but it was not enough to bring even a flicker of emotion to the face of disconsolate coach Fatih Terem, who started the night full of hope but ended it with his team in tatters.
Bayern Munich began the defence of their Champions League title against CSKA Moscow with a 3-0 victory at the Allianz Arena. David Alaba, Mario Mandzukic and Arjen Robben were on target for Bayern, who have now won their last ten opening Champions League fixtures.
Juventus were frustrated by an inspired performance from FC Copenhagen goalkeeper Johan Wiland as they were held to a 1-1 draw in their opener in Denmark. The visitors missed an almost endless succession of chances, especially after the break, as they began their Group B campaign slowly. At half-time it looked like it could have been worse, with Copenhagen leading from Nicolai Jorgensen's 13th-minute goal. But Fabio Quagliarella levelled nine minutes into the second half. He also headed against the bar as Juventus created enough chances to win several games, only to see them go begging, thanks to a series of splendid saves by Wiland.
Paris Saint-Germain scored three and missed a penalty in a one-sided second half as they got their campaign off to a flying start with a 4-1 win at Olympiakos. A potentially tricky opener to Group C turned out to be anything but as the visitors ran riot after the break, two Thiago Motta headers in quick succession taking the score from 1-1 to 3-1. Marquinhos headed a fourth late on, minutes after Zlatan Ibrahimovic had had a penalty saved by Roberto Jimenez, without whom Olympiakos would have been facing up to a much heavier defeat.
The hosts had been very much in the contest at the break, Vladimir Weiss having cancelled out Edinson Cavani's opener for the visitors, but they were simply blown away in the second period. The win sent PSG top of the group, level on points with Benfica, who enjoyed a 2-0 home win over Anderlecht with Filip Djuricic and Luisao on target.
Alex Teixeira served Real Sociedad a harsh lesson about life in the Champions League as the Brazilian's two goals gave Shakhtar Donetsk a 2-0 win in their Group A opener at the Estadio Municipal de Anoeta.
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