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Real Madrid defeat Manchester City as Champions League gets underway

The group stage of the UEFA Champions League soccer tournament is underway, with Real Madrid taking the early honours by defeating Manchester City 3-2 in a thrilling match in Madrid earlier this week (September 18, local time).

The hosts looked the better team throughout the first 45 minutes and had multiple shots at goal but were unable to find the back of the net, and the two sides went into the halftime break deadlocked at 0-0.

More hard fought soccer followed in the second half, but in the end it was Bosnian Man City striker Edin Dzeko who managed to put his team in front, teaming up with Kolo Toure for a brilliant breakaway goal in the 68th minute.

Toure nearly made it 2-0 with an attempt just sliding past the posts a few minutes later, but it was Marcelo who was first to respond for the home team, a precision shot from just outside the penalty box finding the net in the 76th minute.

That equaliser opened the floodgates and a raft of goals followed. A restart from Aleksandar Kolarov skidded past the defence of Real Madrid and left the home crowd stunned, but Karim Benzema was able to equalise by slipping one past Man City goalkeeper Joe Hart a few minutes later.

At 2-2 and with the clock ticking down it looked like we might be heading for a tie, but a somewhat poor game for Hart got even worse as Cristiano Ronaldo got the ball to spin past him and into the net for the winning goal.

In other noteworthy results, Malaga made their Champions League debut in the best possible fashion by defeating Zenit 3-0. Milan and Anderlecht battled to a 0-0 draw while Arsenal defeated Montpellier 2-1 to claim a useful away game victory.

More big matches are still yet to be played, with Chelsea taking on Juventus at Stamford Bridge in what will be a can't miss encounter that kicks off at 4:45 in the morning on Thursday September 20 (Sydney time).

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