Seven Deadly Stats with Cristiano Ronaldo saving his best for the Champions League after Dortmund win

Ronaldo has taken efficiency to a new level in the Champions League, while Gareth Bale is defying his critics as Real Madrid get a 3-1 away win over Dortmund

Aditya Devavrat
by Aditya Devavrat
26th September 2017

article:26th September 2017

Real Madrid have surprisingly struggled in La Liga this season, and their underwhelming display in the Champions League opener against Apoel Nicosia – a game they nevertheless won 3-0 – had some wondering if they were vulnerable in the Group of Death.

Borussia Dortmund were hardly the side they would have wanted to face in this form, as Madrid had never won away to the German club in six previous attempts. But on Tuesday, Madrid were at their ruthless best, with Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo leading the European champions to a 3-1 win in Dortmund.

Here are seven deadly stats from the game…


Bale has had a tough time at Real Madrid this season, especially in front of his home fans. The jeers and whistles that Madridistas directed at their club’s record signing undoubtedly have been off-putting, even if his performances do deserve some criticism.

Away from the cauldron of the Santiago Bernabeu, however, the Welshman is thriving. His superb volley to open the scoring at the Westfalenstadion was a timely reminder of his talent.

Now, if he can just do more of that at home…


When it comes to defenders who excel going forward, Marcelo and Dani Alves are the names that first pop into mind. However, it’s Marcelo’s counterpart at Real Madrid who’s ruling the roost.

No defender has more Champions League assists since the start of last season than Dani Carvajal, whose lovely clipped ball set up Bale’s opener. In fact, across all positions, there’s only one player who tops the Spaniard’s tally – and there’s certainly no shame in a right-back being beaten to top spot on this chart by one of the world’s leading forwards and its most expensive player.


If the opposition is German, Cristiano Ronaldo is bound to score. He scored five goals against Bayern Munich in last season’s Champions League quarterfinals, along with a goal against Dortmund in the group stages – and that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Ronaldo’s record against teams from the Bundesliga.

So it was no surprise when the Portuguese forward ran on to finish from Bale’s cross in the second half to extend Madrid’s lead.

It was his 24th goal against German opposition, and number 25 would come later on in the night.


For all the criticism levied at Bale, the Welshman is actually having a fairly decent start to the season.

His struggles leading the line at home, combined with Madrid’s stuttering start in La Liga, have masked the impact he’s had so far in this campaign.

A goal and an assist against tough opposition in an away game should help calm the critics, at least temporarily.


Although he ended up staying at Dortmund, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang made no secret of his desire for a move this summer, with Real Madrid reportedly being his dream transfer.

At this rate, Los Blancos should sign him just so he stops scoring against them.


Ronaldo was far behind in the La Liga Golden Boot race last season, finishing 12 goals adrift of Lionel Messi. Maybe it’s because he’s saving his best for Europe’s premier competition.

He topped the Champions League scoring charts last season with an astonishing burst in the latter stages, and he’s hit the ground running again in this year’s campaign. His second goal on Tuesday marked the second straight game in which he bagged a brace.


It’s not just that Ronaldo loves scoring in the Champions League – it’s how lethal he’s become in the competition.

The narrative that Ronaldo’s traded in being spectacular for being efficient (to spectacular effect, ultimately) has been around since the start of last season, but he’s taken it to a different level in Europe.

Just take a look: