Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has paid tribute to "incredible human being" Peter Whittingham following the former Cardiff City midfielder's death at the age of 35.

Cardiff confirmed on Thursday that Whittingham had passed away after reportedly suffering head injuries in an accidental fall last week.

Whittingham represented Aston Villa, Burnley, Derby County and Blackburn Rovers during a 15-year playing career but was best associated for his decade at Cardiff.

Solskjaer, who spent nearly nine months working with the Villa academy product in south Wales, told United's official website: "I was deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Peter Whittingham.

"Peter was a fantastic footballer and an incredible human being. I thoroughly enjoyed working with him during my time at Cardiff City.

"It's hard to believe that he has been taken from us at such a young age. Peter will be deeply missed and our thoughts are with his family at this very sad time."

Whittingham was twice Cardiff's Player of the Year and was named in the Football League Team of the Decade for 2005-2015.

Juventus star Aaron Ramsey started his career with the Welsh club and paid a touching tribute of his own to his former team-mate on Instagram.

"I will forever be grateful for you taking me under your wing," he said, accompanied by a picture of the pair playing together in their Cardiff days.

"You were one of the most technical and gifted players I've played with and that left foot of yours was like a wand.

"I'm proud to have played alongside you and will always remember the young vs old games and you just running the show.

"My thoughts and prayers go out to your family, rest in peace Whitts, was too young."

Maurizio Sarri praised Aaron Ramsey's performance in Juventus' 2-0 win over Inter, saying the Wales international's improved fitness has helped him to thrive in the Bianconeri midfield.

Ramsey scored for the second Serie A game running, netting Juve's opener in Sunday's Derby D'Italia after also finding the net against SPAL.

He then teed up Paulo Dybala to score the hosts' second and Sarri said moving Ramsey into a three-man midfield rather than playing him behind the strikers had paid dividends.

"He [Ramsey] maintains that he needs to see more of the pitch in front of him, or he gets a little lost," said the Juve coach.

"He is doing well in this role, although in fairness he's also in much better physical condition now than he was when playing as a trequartista.

“I was about to introduce Dybala a minute before we scored with Ramsey, but I decided to put him on anyway, as I felt that was the moment we could finish the game.

"Inter tried to press us high in the first half and probably used up a lot of energy doing that. The inertia of the game changed after our goal, we had a very strong 20 minutes after that and gained confidence, whereas Inter lost it at the same moment.

"It's very positive that we barely allowed a quality side like Inter a single shot on goal."

After dominating the division in the first half of the season, Inter are in third place, nine points behind leaders Juve, having lost twice to the reigning champions.

Inter boss Antonio Conte called upon his players to grow from the defeat, saying: "We tried to stay in their slipstream, but must learn from defeat and take the lessons of comparison to grow in terms of character, quality and strength.

"It's a loss that must help us to grow and understand how far away we are. It certainly shouldn't make us distraught, as we knew there was a gap and we lost both meetings with them. The results speak clearly, they won two and we got zero points.

"We must grow in terms of character if we want to compete at the highest level. It's also about characteristics, as there are players who are stronger in personality and others less so.

"We all need to do better in that sense and be more determined."

If a pivotal game in the Serie A title race takes place and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?

As it turns out, yes it does. Plenty of them – both expected and unusually clear all at once.

There were speculative shots from Inter midfield trio Matias Vecino, Nicolo Barella and Marcelo Brozovic – ballooned unhelpfully into the Allianz Stadium stands to prompt a plastic rattle from the empty seats.

Cristiano Ronaldo's radar was in better working order as his fierce strike thudded into Samir Handanovic's gloves with a slap.

Midway through the first half Ashley Young thundered into a robust challenge on Juventus' Juan Cuadrado, producing a dead thud of boots on leather and bones against flesh.

These familiar sights in Italy's most famous game unfolded in an alien setting of isolation, with the ban on attending sporting events in the country as a means to tackle the spread of coronavirus given its most high-profile stage to date.

This was the Derby d'Italia – the grandest game of all in a football-mad country. By necessity it was reduced to incongruous spectacle that frequently jarred the senses.

It was hard not to feel for Aaron Ramsey when he pounced to net the breakthrough goal, a wonderfully instinctive piece of penalty-box play that put Juve on the way to a 2-0 win and the Serie A summit.

They are one point clear of surprise package Lazio and now nine better off than Inter, whose Scudetto race is probably run, even with a game in hand for Antonio Conte's side.

Ramsey's was the sort of strike that in normal circumstances has a chance of being a "moment" goal. The moment fans know glory is within reach, the split second where anxiety gives way to elation and the prize comes within reach.

A goalscorer in two separate FA Cup final wins for Arsenal and a midfield driving force in Wales' improbable run to the semi-finals of Euro 2016, the 29-year-old already has enough dizzying career highs to sustain him when retirement arrives.

But his key contribution against Inter should have been met with pandemonium in the stands, much like Paulo Dybala's sublime point-proving solo goal from the bench, just as Ronaldo's shot should have garnered roars where Inter's wayward attempts earned goading whistles.

As it happened, the only "woo hoo" came from Damon Albarn, as Juve's in-stadium team bizarrely retained their preference of spinning Blur's Song 2 when their side score.

Of course, there are far more important things at play in Italy and beyond than the emotional experience of elite footballers, when diagnoses and death tolls continue to climb.

But if a positive can be taken from this period of closed doors in Serie A, it should be the loud and clear reminder of just how central supporters are to the whole football experience; of the inimitable meaning paying punters give to the deeds of all-star millionaires.

These are people who find their personal schedules shunted around by kick-offs moved to please international television audiences, who watch on as Super Cup encounters are staged in far-flung lands and who tolerate processional one-club dominance of domestic competitions in the super-club era.

The vacant stands of this unique and troubling moment will not be repeated in the seasons to come, but when normal service resumes we will continue to see far too many examples of supporters being taken for granted and their attachment to their beloved sport undermined to the point of apathy.

Beneath every iconic footballing moment is a soundtrack of supporter ecstasy, which is exactly why Ramsey and Dybala's goals within Juventus' best display of 2019-20 are likely to fade from the collective memory. Sunday offered a demonstration of the emptiness that would remain if you remove a soul already being chipped away at piece by piece.

Juventus returned to the top of Serie A after goals from Aaron Ramsey and Paulo Dybala earned them a 2-0 Derby D'Italia victory over Inter at an empty Allianz Stadium.

Maurizio Sarri's side were clinical in a surreal atmosphere – supporters have been barred from attending matches until April 3 amid coronavirus precautions – securing a third consecutive league win after Ramsey netted for the second game running, while substitute Dybala doubled the hosts lead with a scintillating strike.

Cristiano Ronaldo failed to find the net for the first time in 12 league matches on a night when he could have set a new Serie A record goalscoring streak, the Portugal star missing two excellent late chances.

But there was no hiding Sarri's satisfaction as his charges bounced back from their Champions League defeat to Lyon with a deserved victory against one of their title rivals, who are now nine points behind, although Antonio Conte's side have a game in hand.

Samir Handanovic, on his return from a hairline fracture of his finger, made a smart reaction save to keep out Matthijs de Ligt's close-range header after seven minutes, and Ronaldo then fired a shot into his midriff from 20 yards.

Juve's strong start continued, with Blaise Matuidi's angled drive forcing Handanovic into a low, diving stop, while Inter were restricted to shots over the crossbar from distance by Nicolo Barella and Antonio Candreva.

Marcelo Brozovic gave the champions their first real scare when he struck a curling effort towards goal from outside the box that Wojciech Szczesny parried away, ensuring the sides went in level at the interval.

Juve's breakthrough came nine minutes after the restart when Alex Sandro played Matuidi into the box and his cross was blocked by Alessandro Bastoni, only for Ramsey to pounce on the loose ball and fire it in off Stefan de Vrij's leg from six yards.

Dybala replaced Douglas Costa five minutes later and soon made his mark on the game, immaculately trapping a long pass before exchanging a one-two with Ramsey,  turning Ashley Young inside the box and firing into the corner of the net with the outside of his left foot.

Conte threw on Christian Eriksen as Inter sought a way back into the game and he sent a rising drive narrowly over Szczesny's crossbar, but the visitors' evening took another turn for the worse when Daniele Padelli was sent off from the bench following Brozovic's foul on Matuidi.

Ronaldo fired two late shots narrowly wide of the target as he just missed out on claiming another piece of history, but the night nonetheless belonged to Juve.

 

What does it mean? Inter cut adrift

The Nerazzurri are now playing catch-up in a big way, with Conte's side failing to show the kind of form that made them front-runners in the title race before the turn of the year.

Juventus, meanwhile, are playing some of their most exciting football of the campaign and will feel confident about going toe-to-toe with Lazio – a point behind – for the Scudetto.

Ramsey finding his feet

This was only Ramsey's ninth league start of the season but – having also netted against SPAL – he more than justified his place, scoring the opener, assisting the second, and frequently putting Sarri's men on the front foot with his vision and quick thinking.

Higuain's drought continues

Without a Serie A goal since January 6, Gonzalo Higuain was largely a bystander despite Juve spending long spells camped in and around Inter's box, with Ronaldo so often the preferred passing option.

What's next?

Inter are at home to Getafe in the Europa League on Thursday ahead of their clash with Sassuolo three days later, while Juventus travel to Bologna in Serie A on Friday, with Lyon visiting in the Champions League after that.

Aaron Ramsey remains "confident" Juventus will make it through to the Champions League quarter-finals despite Wednesday's loss to Lyon.

The Serie A champions succumbed to a lacklustre 1-0 loss in France, leaving them with an uphill battle when Lyon visit Turin for the last-16 second-leg tie next month.

Coach Maurizio Sarri lamented his side's sluggish play in possession, with Juve needing a swift response as they host Inter in a crunch title clash on Sunday.

Former Arsenal midfielder Ramsey concedes Juve were well short of their best in Lyon, but he believes they will turn it around on home soil.

"We knew it was going to be difficult, but we didn't play the match we wanted," he told the club's official website.

"We have a lot of work to do, but I am confident, because we are a united group. This is only the first half, now we work hard. 

"Let's focus on ourselves, and do better: starting on Sunday with Inter.

"For the return leg we want to secure a result in front of the fans."

Juve were last crowned champions of Europe in 1996 and have lost five finals since then.

Aaron Ramsey felt right at home in a midfield three for Juventus as he scored what proved to be the winner against lowly SPAL.

In a game where Cristiano Ronaldo marked his 1,000th career appearance with the opening goal, it was Ramsey's strike that was decisive as SPAL went on to cut the deficit with a late penalty.

The Wales international confidently collected Paulo Dybala's incisive pass and lifted a deft finish over Etrit Berisha to score his first Serie A goal since September, moving Juve four points clear at the summit. 

Having often been employed in a more advanced role behind the strikers, Ramsey was pleased to settle into his rhythm as part of a midfield trio.

"Of course, this is my position, it's where I wanted to play when I came here, it's where I played my whole career," the former Arsenal player told Sky Sport Italia.

"I have the chance to make runs into the box and also score goals, so that is where I feel most comfortable."

Juve were not at their fluent best at Stadio Paolo Mazza on Saturday but got the job done against the division's rock-bottom side.

With a Champions League trip to Lyon and the visit of Inter for a crunch clash in the title race coming up next, Rasmey was pleased just to come away with the points.

"It's very big, it's always difficult to come to places like this," he said,

"It was important to stick at it, we got the three points. It's a big week for us and this is an excellent way to start."

 

Juventus boss Maurizio Sarri has urged midfielders Aaron Ramsey, Sami Khedira and Adrien Rabiot to offer more in attack ahead of their Serie A trip to Roma.

The Bianconeri remain second in the table after their 4-0 win over Cagliari on Monday, when Cristiano Ronaldo scored a hat-trick.

Of Juve's 35 Serie A goals this season, 23 have been scored by strikers Ronaldo, Paulo Dybala and Gonzalo Higuain, while Miralem Pjanic, with three, is the only midfielder to have scored more than once.

With Higuain still struggling with a hamstring injury, Sarri wants to see those behind Ronaldo and Dybala carry a greater attacking threat.

"Given the quality of the players I have at my disposal, the rotations don't change the philosophy of the game much," he said at a news conference.

"We can be better at exploiting the spaces created by Ronaldo and Dybala; Ramsey, Khedira and Rabiot all have the characteristics to do it.

"Dybala starts his runs a little deeper and Ronaldo off centre. Higuain therefore resolves an issue of getting bodies in the box."

Roma lost at home to Juventus' neighbours Torino on Sunday, ending a seven-match unbeaten run in all competitions.

They drew at league leaders Inter during that sequence, and beat Milan and Napoli at home earlier in the season, with Sarri acutely aware of the threat posed by Paulo Fonseca's side.

"I expect Fonseca's team to make a good impression; he's working well, he's a great coach," Sarri added. 

"He has a lot of technical players and he knows how to snatch the game when Roma regain the ball, but they also know how to recapture the ball after lost possession. They can be very dangerous."

Defender Matthijs de Ligt was once again an unused substitute against Cagliari, though Sarri insisted he is close to returning to full fitness.

"De Ligt is starting to improve," Sarri said.

"He still has a shoulder injury, but we hope he will return as soon as possible."

Juventus midfielder Aaron Ramsey is to be "evaluated day by day" ahead of Saturday's meeting with Lazio after sustaining a thigh issue.

The Bianconeri revealed Ramsey was suffering with an injury at the end of Thursday's training session.

No estimate was given for a potential absence, but Juventus said "an overload was detected on the left thigh flexors", meaning he would continue to be assessed.

Ramsey has made 11 appearances in all competitions for Juve this season, scoring twice, having joined the club on a free transfer from Arsenal in June.

Juventus are second in Serie A after 14 matches, a point behind leaders Inter.

A delighted Ryan Giggs hailed one of the best days of his life after Wales secured a place at Euro 2020 with a 2-0 win over Hungary.

Aaron Ramsey was the hero in Cardiff, scoring a goal in each half as Wales clinched the second qualifying spot behind Croatia in Group E – earning a shot at matching their Euro 2016 exploits following a semi-final run.

An uneven start to his first campaign in charge meant Giggs' men needed to win both of their closing matches to progress.

Victory in Azerbaijan over the weekend before success before their fervent home support saw them come good when it mattered.

"It's doesn't get any better," Wales manager Giggs told Sky Sports. "It's amazing. From where we were in the summer with those two defeats [away to Croatia and Hungary], credit to the lads the way they've come back.

"They've show grit, determination and quality. It's one of the best days of my life."

Ramsey's injury problems meant the Juventus star was making his first start of qualification on Tuesday.

"He's just showed that quality, that class," Giggs said. "The finishes… we missed him, but better late than never, I suppose."

Having never managed to represent Wales at a major tournament as a player, Manchester United great Giggs will revel in leading his country on such a grand stage.

"To be honest I haven't really thought about that," he added, referencing those playing disappointments.

"It's one of the greatest days of my life. There was a lot of hard work put in. Not only am I blessed with a good set of players but also the best staff I could ask for.

"The atmosphere every time we play in Cardiff… the fans are part of it. I was watching it in 2016 – you could tell the fans loved it then and they'll love this even more."

Gareth Bale ribbed Aaron Ramsey over his fitness record after the Juventus man fired Wales to the Euro 2020 finals with a brace in the 2-0 win over Hungary.

Needing victory to progress as automatic qualifiers from Group E at Hungary's expense, Ramsey marked his first start of an injury-ruined campaign with a headed opener from Bale's 15th-minute cross.

The former Arsenal favourite was on the mark again early in the second half as Wales made it back-to-back European Championship qualifications.

"It’s about time he contributed, isn't it?" Bale told Sky Sports.

"Obviously he's a world-class player, you like to have him back. He showed again what a great player he is, scoring the goals that helped us through."

Wales were the surprise package of Euro 2016, with Ramsey and Bale to the fore as they reached the semi-finals.

Now both senior members in an increasingly youthful squad under Ryan Giggs, Ramsey was desperate to secure another outing on the biggest stage.

"We had the best time of our lives in France," he told Sky Sports. "We missed out on the [2018] World Cup, so it was a big effort.

"I missed a lot of this campaign but it's all worthwhile. Chipping in with a couple of goals is amazing.

"It means everything. We inspired a nation last time out. We wanted to do it again.

"There are some players here who haven’t experienced this. We wanted to give them a taste of it as well. We've got a great squad, a lot of great players coming through."

Speaking alongside Bale, Ramsey added: "There's still some life left in our legs yet. We're enjoying it. We'll enjoy tonight now as well."

Aaron Ramsey was Wales' hero as Ryan Giggs' side secured qualification for Euro 2020 with a 2-0 home win over Hungary.

One of the stand-out performers in his country's surprise run to the semi-finals of Euro 2016, Ramsey was making his first start of the current campaign following persisted fitness problems.

But the Juventus midfielder re-announced himself in style at a fervent Cardiff City Stadium, scoring a goal in each half as Wales deservedly claimed the win they needed to leapfrog Hungary and take the second automatic qualifying spot in Group E.

Gareth Bale, Daniel James and the goalscorer buzzed effectively behind imposing targetman Kieffer Moore throughout, although Giggs was also indebted to some first-half heroics from goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey.

Wales began confidently and, when Adam Lang made the mistake of showing Bale on to his left foot on the right flank, the Real Madrid star whipped in an inviting cross for Ramsey to gleefully nod home.

Another wonderful Bale delivery – this time right-footed – saw Moore head narrowly wide in the 29th minute.

Hennessy produced a remarkable double-save to thwart Dominik Szoboszlai and Roland Sallai at close quarters in the 34th minute and it would prove a pivotal moment.

Instead of chasing the game, Wales were able to resume in composed fashion after the break and they soon had breathing space.

Moore – a handful in the air throughout for the Hungary defence - knocked down Ben Davies' 47th-minute set-piece and Ramsey, left negligently unmarked for a man of his finishing capabilities, made no mistake.

Giggs' eye-catching attacking midfield trio started to run through their repertoire, with Bale fizzing a free-kick narrowly over before James cut in to curl a shot just beyond the top-right corner.

An awful challenge from Istvan Kovacs on fellow substitute Ethan Ampadu highlighted Hungary's simmering frustration, while Peter Gulacsi saved with his boot to deny Ramsey the match ball 15 minutes from time.

What does it mean? Back-to-back Euros for Wales

Although UEFA's expansion to a 24-team tournament has leant a helping hand, Wales' achievement in reaching consecutive European Championships is a significant one for a country whose previous major tournament was the 1958 World Cup. Giggs has remained committed to letting promising youthful players flourish alongside his established stars, despite a rocky start in the group, and deserves his share of credit.

Rambo draws first and last blood

Wales got themselves in position without Ramsey but there is no doubt they go up a level with the former Arsenal man in their line-up. Fitness permitting, no nation will relish facing Bale, James and Ramsey in tandem come June.

Lang error costly for Hungary

That said, there are better ways to combat Bale than ushering him on to his lethal left foot to set up the opener. Hungary's night might still have been one of savour but for Lang's lapse.

What's next

Hungary get another bite at qualification in March's play-offs – the dream of turning out in the finals at Budapest's Puskas Arena still alive. Bale and his team-mates can dream of another unlikely tilt at European glory.

Gareth Bale believes the euphoric feeling of Wales' run to the semi-finals at Euro 2016 will spur Ryan Giggs' side on against Hungary.

Following a 2-0 victory over Azerbaijan on Saturday, Wales head into their final qualifying match knowing a win will be enough to secure a place at Euro 2020.

Bale scored three goals at the previous finals as Wales - with Chris Coleman in charge - reached the last four in France, going out to eventual champions Portugal.

The Real Madrid forward has claimed Wales can use the experiences gained from three years ago, plus their failure to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, as inspiration heading into Tuesday's crucial clash in Cardiff.

"I think we can use both of [the experiences] to our advantage," Bale told a news conference.

"We have got the kind of euphoria of qualifying for our first Euros and doing so well at the competition that we really want to do that again.

"We've also got the negatives of knowing how it feels to miss out on qualifying for a tournament like we did with the World Cup.

"We can see how we don't want to feel after the game. We know prior to this game we can push and push not to feel like that again, because it's not a feeling you want in the dressing room after the game.

"The experience of qualifying for the Euros was massive and something I've never done before and to do it again might be a bit more impressive.

"It's going to stand in equal stead as last time, but we can't think about that just yet. We have another important match first and we have to focus on that as a team and a squad."

Giggs confirmed on Monday that Bale and Aaron Ramsey, who has been hampered by a thigh problem, are both ready to start against Hungary.

"I'm ready. I hadn't played in four weeks so it was important to get 60 minutes into my legs and get some match sharpness," Bale added.

"We spoke at the start of the week about trying to get 60 minutes and hopefully being a couple [of goals] up before I came off, so it worked out well, no problems, and I'm ready to go for Tuesday."

Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey are ready to start for Wales in Tuesday's crucial Euro 2020 qualifier against Hungary, manager Ryan Giggs has confirmed.

Real Madrid forward Bale made his first appearance in a month in the 2-0 win over Azerbaijan on Saturday, a result that kept alive Wales' hopes of qualifying automatically for next year's tournament.

Bale, who has been struggling with a calf injury, was replaced in the second half by Juventus midfielder Ramsey, who has been hampered by recent thigh trouble.

Giggs expects to be able to have both players in the starting line-up for the first time in their qualifying campaign when they face Hungary in Cardiff, a match in which the winners will secure a place at the Euro 2020 finals.

"We've got a few players who played 90 minutes for the first time against Azerbaijan, so it is important they get the recovery in over the next few days," Giggs said on Monday.

"The lads who got minutes needed minutes. It's a bit of a balancing act, the players I know who can't play 90 minutes - that will obviously influence the selection.

"Yeah, [Bale and Ramsey] are both ready to start. Gareth and Aaron, with Chris Mepham and Ethan Ampadu, all players who haven't had an awful lot of football, got the minutes they needed.

"We were able to get Gareth off and it was important to get Aaron on the pitch. Everyone in the squad is available to start."

Giggs has challenged his players to capitalise on the good fortunate of Croatia's win over Slovakia on Saturday.

The World Cup finalists came from a goal down to win 3-1 and book their own place at Euro 2020, while also ensuring Wales and Hungary have their fates in their own hands.

"We had the high of winning the game but when Slovakia go ahead you are fearing the worst, but Croatia are fantastic at home," Giggs said.

"They showed their quality. We needed favours and we got those favours. Now it is time for us to capitalise.

"It's in our hands. It's a great, exciting challenge for us but we need to finish the job – it will be a very, very difficult game."

Ryan Giggs is hopeful of starting Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey in Wales' crucial Euro 2020 qualifier with Hungary after using both players in the win over Azerbaijan.

Bale made his first appearance in a month on Saturday as Wales eased to a 2-0 victory in Baku that ensures their bid to qualify automatically for next year's tournament will go down to the final game.

The Real Madrid forward has been carrying a calf injury and lasted an hour before being replaced by Juventus midfielder Ramsey, who has also struggled for playing time of late due to a thigh problem.

Giggs has yet to have both players on the pitch during qualifying but is optimistic of that changing against Hungary in Cardiff on Tuesday,

"We've still got to assess them," he said at his post-match news conference. "Getting Gareth off pretty early on and giving Aaron some minutes helped.

"Aaron showed his quality when he came on, but it's a quick turnaround. Gareth was blowing a little bit, which is understandable, but hopefully I'll have the option of starting both on Tuesday."

Wales are now unbeaten in four Group E games since back-to-back away losses in June and are within a point of second-place Hungary, while Slovakia are a point behind ahead of their game in hand against Croatia later on Saturday.

Victory for Wales against Hungary, coupled with Slovakia failing to take maximum points from their remaining two matches, would be enough for Giggs' men to secure automatic qualification for Euro 2020.

"We've had four good performances in a row, which we needed after the two difficult games in the summer," Giggs said. "We needed to be strong and we have been. 

"I was not happy with the number of corners we gave away, but they never really troubled us in open play and we could have scored a few more goals.

"Depending on the Croatia-Slovakia score, it sets us up nicely for Tuesday's game."

Kieffer Moore doubled his goals tally in a Wales shirt with a 10th-minute opener at Bakcell Arena, while Harry Wilson was also on target in the first half of a comfortable away victory.

It was Wales' first away win since October 2018 and Giggs added: "Some of our play was outstanding.

"Since the Azerbaijan game at home we've improved. We've played some difficult teams but overall the performances have improved. 

"We started to gain some sort of momentum, which isn't easy in international football. The lads came into camp really confident. It doesn't matter who's come in, they've all contributed. 

"It's not an easy place to come, so it's up there with one of our best performances."

Douglas Costa sent Juventus through to the last 16 of the Champions League with a brilliant 93rd-minute winner in a 2-1 away victory over Lokomotiv Moscow.

The Bianconeri were ahead after just three minutes when Aaron Ramsey nudged the ball over the line after goalkeeper Guilherme had spilled Cristiano Ronaldo's free-kick back towards his goal.

However, Lokomotiv soon hit back through Aleksey Miranchuk and Guilherme denied Ronaldo twice in the second half as the Portuguese attempted to set a Champions League record by scoring against a 34th different team.

It was not to be Ronaldo's night as he was replaced with nine minutes to go, yet Costa stepped up to be the hero, weaving in off the left wing and finishing after a one-two with Gonzalo Higuain.

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