Real Madrid head coach Carlo Ancelotti understands Eden Hazard's frustration and is sorry after being left on the bench again for Wednesday's 2-1 Champions League win over Shakhtar Donetsk.

Hazard has only made one appearance in Madrid's four Champions League games this season, starting in the 2-1 home loss to Sheriff.

Belgium international Hazard has only managed five starts and five appearances off the bench in all competitions, totalling 409 minutes this season, with Vinicius Junior excelling in an attacking role on the left side.

The situation has led to speculation Hazard, who was a record signing for Los Blancos from Chelsea in 2019, could leave Madrid in January, further fuelled after being left to warm up and remain unused on the bench as Ancelotti opted to only make two changes against Shakhtar.

"Getting upset is normal. I believe getting upset is the fair reaction to manage this situation," Ancelotti said during the post-game news conference midweek. "I understand perfectly a player who hasn’t played.

"I also understand the feeling of a player who warms up for 40 minutes in the second half and finally doesn’t play. I am so sorry. I told the players: I am sorry, but I didn’t want to make any substitutions.

"Marcelo has been warming up for 40 minutes. And Marcelo has won many Champions Leagues. I am so sorry. My duty in this way is very ugly and complicated."

Hazard, 30, has only managed one assist this term while 21-year-old Vinicius added another two assists for Karim Benzema's goals against Shakhtar either side of Fernando's 39th-minute equaliser.

Vinicius has been involved in six goals in four games against Shakhtar in the Champions League (three goals and three assists) – more than against any side he has come up against in the competition. Forty-six of his total goal involvements in the Champions League have come against the Ukrainian side (six of 13).

The Brazil international has either scored (two) or assisted (three) five of Madrid's last six Champions League goals, while Benzema has either scored (three) or assisted (one) four of their last five.

"He's on a very good run, both in terms of goals and assists," Ancelotti said. "Both goals were down to him. The first one came about from his high press and the other was following link-up play with Casemiro and Benzema. He's in top form."

Madrid's win was marred by jeers from home fans at the Santiago Bernabeu, irritated by the side's inability to dominate the game.

The two teams both had 13 shots each, with the LaLiga champions having 6-5 on target as well as edging possession 55 per cent.

"Yes, I understand it because I know this atmosphere very well," Ancelotti said about the jeers. "It is the public that demand a lot.

"We have started well, but we went down a bit later. Too much control of possession, but not very aggressive defensively. It may happen and it is good actually to have the fans awakening us with some boos. It doesn’t matter, it helps us."

Paris Saint-Germain head coach Mauricio Pochettino was left frustrated after his side conceded a stoppage-time penalty to drop two points in a 2-2 draw at RB Leipzig that saw them lose top spot in Champions League Group A.

PSG went a goal down early on after former player Christopher Nkunku headed in a cross from Andre Silva, and would have been further behind just 12 minutes in had Gianluigi Donnarumma not saved a penalty from the latter after the Portugal forward was tripped in the box by Danilo on Wednesday.

Georginio Wijnaldum bagged his first two goals for PSG since joining from Liverpool in the off-season to give his team a half-time lead, but Pochettino's men could not put the game to bed and were fortunate to still be ahead by the time Presnel Kimpembe gave away another penalty, which Dominik Szoboszlai converted in the 92nd minute midweek.

"We saw how facing a team performing well can cause us problems," Pochettino told RMC Sport. "It's our fault that we messed up the start of the match. It's true that we didn't start well.

"In the second half, we controlled the game better. The stats show that we have to do better in terms of possession.

"Most of all we have to manage the game better against teams who can play on the counter like Leipzig. You have to be able to do it all."

When asked how he felt about losing first place in the group to Premier League champions Manchester City, the former Tottenham boss added "It changes nothing. We need to have the desire to go to Manchester to qualify."

PSG are now winless in their last three away games in the Champions League (D2 L1), their worst such run on the road since November 2018 (four on the spin).

Wijnaldum's goals for PSG were his first in 276 days since the end of January for Liverpool. It was also the Dutchman's first Champions League brace since May 2019 in the semi-finals against Barcelona.

"We created a lot of opportunities but also gave a few away and that's why they stayed in the game," RMC Sport. "At times we made it easy for them.

"I work hard every day and I'm getting to know my team-mates better. Let's hope I can continue this form."

Dusan Tadic basked in Ajax's "wonderful" achievement after the last-16 bound Dutch giants won their opening four Champions League group-stage games for the first time in their history.

Ajax made their numerical advantage count as they overturned a half-time deficit to outlast Group C rivals Borussia Dortmund 3-1 en route to the knockout phase on Wednesday.

Dortmund captain Marco Reus converted a 37th-minute penalty after star defender Mats Hummels was controversially sent off eight minutes earlier at Signal-Iduna Park.

Ajax went on to power past Dortmund thanks to goals from Tadic, Sebastien Haller and Davy Klaassen inside the final 21 minutes.

Eredivisie powerhouse Ajax also became the first Dutch team to win their first four matches in a single Champions League campaign, while they celebrated four successive wins in the competition for the first time since March 1996.

"It's wonderful; four matches and 12 points," captain Tadic – who has been directly involved in 20 goals in 28 Champions League matches for Ajax (nine goals and 11 assists) – at least eight more than any other player at the club – told RTL 7 after his 72nd-minute equaliser.

"It's a great feeling to beat such a good team in a great stadium like this.

"I thought we played very poorly in the first half. We lost possession too often. At half-time we said that we had to move the ball round faster and cut out the mistakes. The second half was much better."

Despite another win, Ajax head coach Erik ten Hag was not completely satisfied post-match on the road.

"We have to learn our lessons from how we played in the first half if we want to progress and learn. We made a lot of mistakes and let our opponents play to their strengths," he told RTL 7.

"We were too impatient, and surrendered possession far too often. But we also showed that we can play poorly for part of the game and still beat a strong opponent."

Haller, meanwhile, became only the fifth player to score in each of his first four Champions League appearances, after Ze Carlos (1993), Alessandro Del Piero (1995), Diego Costa (2014) and Erling Haaland (2019).

Simone Inzaghi says Inter's "destiny is in our hands" after a 3-1 victory over Sheriff moved them up to second in Champions League Group D. 

Marcelo Brozovic, Milan Skriniar and Alexis Sanchez were on target for the Serie A side at the Bolshaya Sportivnaya Arena, while Adama Traore scored a late consolation for the hosts. 

The result meant Inter leapfrogged the Moldovan side into second, two points adrift of leaders Real Madrid. 

After victory over Sheriff at San Siro a fortnight ago, Inter have now recorded back-to-back Champions League wins for the first time since winning their opening two of the 2018-19 campaign. 

"Let's say that this evening we improved our position in the group, now our destiny is in our hands and we must go into the last two games with great concentration," Inzaghi told Mediaset Infinity. 

"There was the risk after 10 or 12 chances that we'd get frustrated and frenetic, but instead the lads were always sharp and focused. We made it seem simple, but don't forget Sheriff beat Real Madrid in Madrid and also Shakhtar Donetsk. This gives us more confidence." 

Inzaghi's attention now turns to his first Derby della Madonnina against Milan on Sunday, with Inter looking to inflict a first Serie A defeat of the season on their rivals. 

"We know what awaits us, it means a lot to our fans and the club," he added. "We must prepare it in the best way with just three days to get ready. 

"It's a long flight back to Italy, but we will try to recoup that physical and above all psychological energy." 

Brozovic shared Inzaghi's sentiments, saying going back to Italy with maximum points was all that mattered. 

"Now we control our own destiny," Brozovic, who scored his first Champions League goal in his 27th appearance in the competition, told Sky Sport Italia. 

"The only thing that mattered today was winning. We played really well, attacked and did not allow any counter-attacks. 

"The coach said a few things [at half-time], we needed to move the ball quicker and then we'd 100 per cent score a goal." 

Jurgen Klopp insisted Liverpool will take their two remaining Champions League group games seriously after they secured a place in the knockout stages in record time.

The Reds made it four wins from four in the group stages of Europe's elite competition for the first time in their history as they beat Atletico Madrid 2-0 at Anfield on Wednesday.

That result means they are guaranteed to progress to the next round as group winners regardless of the outcome of upcoming fixtures against Porto and Milan, but Klopp has suggested he will still take both very seriously.

"You earn a lot of money if you win Champions League games - not me personally, it's just for the club it's important. That's what we will do," Klopp said during the post-game news conference.

"Of course, the first target was to get through this group and getting through the group with 12 points after four matches is absolutely insane, to be honest. 

"But we did it and now there are two more games to go. One is against Porto and we are Liverpool in a home game, what can we do? Let them play or whatever? 

"And then, going to Milan, I've never been there. It's a historical one, so we will show up there as well. That's the situation. 

"But, of course, when I saw the group I didn't expect that we would be through after four games, but the boys did it and really well deserved."

Liverpool's task was made all the easier when Atletico's Felipe was sent off for a cynical swipe at Sadio Mane during the first half at Anfield.

But Klopp felt he had to substitute the Senegalese himself at the break in order to avoid him receiving a second yellow card.

Explaining the decision, he said: "I really hated the moment when I had to take off Sadio because Sadio played an incredible game. You could see now everybody wants it [the red card]. 

"My worry was any kind of challenge in the air, where you never know exactly what happens there with the arm, one of them goes down and makes three times a roll over then Sadio's off and that would have been the wrong thing. I didn't like it but, in the end, we had to do it." 

Pep Guardiola said he gets greater satisfaction from his success with Manchester City because "nobody helps" them, unlike with other major clubs. 

City went top of Champions League Group A on Wednesday following a 4-1 win over Club Brugge at the Etihad Stadium, though they endured a difficult first half after John Stones' own goal cancelled out Phil Foden's 15th-minute opener. 

The Premier League champions were much improved after the break and claimed an important victory through second-half goals from Riyad Mahrez, Raheem Sterling and Gabriel Jesus. 

It was enough to send City top as Paris Saint-Germain were held to a 2-2 draw at RB Leipzig following Dominik Szoboszlai's stoppage-time penalty. 

When it was suggested Leipzig had done City a favour, Guardiola replied to BT Sport: "We help each other. What we've done these years... I promise you, when you're at Manchester City, you realise nobody helps you. No one. 

"Everything we have done, we've done it. When you're in high ranking and big clubs, I understand maybe. Here, no. When we win, we do it." 

He continued, with a smile: "All the titles I won before were because I was at big clubs. 

"Absolutely, the pleasure is higher [in winning things with City]. The fight to win the hierarchy in the Premier League is good." 

Foden's goal was his seventh in the Champions League – Wayne Rooney (nine) is the only English player to have scored more aged 21 or younger – but City did not register another shot on target until the second half. 

The England international said Guardiola's advice at half-time was crucial in helping them record a ninth consecutive Champions League home win. Manchester United are the only Premier League club to have enjoyed a longer such streak in the competition, having been victorious in 12 straight at Old Trafford from September 2006 until April 2008. 

The victory was a much-needed tonic after a disappointing week that saw an EFL Cup exit at the hands of West Ham followed by a surprise 2-0 Premier League defeat to Crystal Palace. 

"I thought we were sloppy in the first half and let them get back into the game. We got in at half-time and spoke about what was going wrong," said Foden. 

"We changed it in the second half and played better. The manager wasn't happy [at half-time]. You have to take his advice. We changed a couple of things and were better in possession and hurt them a lot more. 

"Once we get the rhythm, we play our lovely football. I'm delighted with the second half." 

Atletico Madrid goalkeeper Jan Oblak remains confident the Spanish giants can still advance to the Champions League knockout stage, despite their hopes being dealt a blow following back-to-back defeats to Liverpool.

Atletico endured a night to forget at Anfield, where the LaLiga champions had Felipe sent off in the first half of Wednesday's 2-0 loss against Liverpool, who progressed.

Beaten 3-2 in the reverse fixture in the Spanish capital, having also lost Antoine Griezmann to a red card on matchday three last month, Atletico conceded goals to Diogo Jota and Sadio Mane before Felipe was dismissed for a cynical foul on the latter and subsequent apparent dissent.

Atletico huffed and puffed but could not find their way back into the Group B contest, with the result leaving Diego Simeone's men third and a point behind Porto for the second last-16 berth heading into the final two games.

"They scored two easy goals against us, which can't happen," Oblak told Movistar Plus. "After two goals like that, it's difficult to come back, especially with a man less.

"So the feeling isn't the best, but I do think the team fought. We did all we could. In the end we lost 2-0, but it's still open [the group]. We depend on ourselves, and we have to win the two games to come."

Atletico lost back-to-back Champions League group-stage games for only the second time under head coach Simeone, also doing so in November 2019.

The capital club also conceded two goals in the first half of consecutive Champions League games for the first time after 105 matches.

"Today, the two goals were too easy – we all know that, the whole team does. I don't know what is happening," said Oblak.

"We have to improve in this respect, and I am sure once we improve at the back, we're going to have better results.

"This is difficult to explain; it's the whole team, it's not just one player but the whole team, and we all have to do better to concede as few goals as possible."

Atletico host Milan on November 24 before travelling to Porto for their final group fixture on December 7.

Oblak added: "We depend on ourselves. We have to win the two games that remain. It won't be easy – we all know that – and we have to give our best version of ourselves and do our best.

"With our quality, if we show it on the field, we can win the two games and get through to the last 16."

A dramatic late penalty denied Paris Saint-Germain victory against RB Leipzig as they drew 2-2 at the Red Bull Arena and lost top spot in Champions League Group A.

Following a lengthy VAR check in stoppage time, referee Andreas Ekberg pointed to the spot after Presnel Kimpembe was judged to have fouled Christopher Nkunku in the box and Dominik Szoboszlai fired past Gianluigi Donnarumma from 12 yards.

PSG were without Lionel Messi after he picked up a knee injury at the weekend but thought they had done enough to claim an away win thanks to a first-half brace from Georginio Wijnaldum, although Mauricio Pochettino's men had trailed to Nkunku's header and seen Donnarumma save a first spot-kick from Andre Silva.

A draw saw PSG fall behind Manchester City, whose win over Club Brugge also ended Leipzig's hopes of advancing from the group.

The hosts had started brightly and took the lead in the eighth minute when Silva put in a perfect cross for Nkunku to head past the flat-footed Donnarumma and score against his former club.

Leipzig's advantage should have been doubled just three minutes later when Silva was brought down clumsily in the box by Danilo, but the Portugal striker saw his tame penalty saved by Donnarumma.

PSG were level on 21 minutes when Angel Di Maria, Neymar and Kylian Mbappe linked to give Wijnaldum a tap in, his first goal since leaving Liverpool for the French capital at the end of last season.

His second was not far behind as the midfielder was left free in the box from a corner and headed past Peter Gulacsi from a Marquinhos knockdown to give PSG the lead. It was initially disallowed for offside, but the VAR soon overturned the decision.

The visitors wasted numerous opportunities to finish their opponents off in the second half and were made to pay when Szoboszlai's 92nd minute penalty denied them the win.

 

Raheem Sterling ended his goal drought as Manchester City edged closer to the Champions League knockout stages by grinding their way to a 4-1 victory over Club Brugge. 

Second-half substitute Sterling, who has become a peripheral figure at the Etihad Stadium since declaring his openness to a move away, struck for the first time since August in what ended up being a comfortable victory for Pep Guardiola's side, who moved top of Group A. 

Phil Foden put City ahead inside the opening quarter of an hour, but an own goal from John Stones restored parity two minutes later and the hosts struggled to create further chances in the first half. 

However, unlike in their 2-0 loss to Crystal Palace at the weekend, City found a way to break down a low block and secured all three points thanks to goals from Riyad Mahrez, Sterling and Gabriel Jesus – enough to leapfrog Paris Saint-Germain, who were held by RB Leipzig.

Brugge sat deep from the off, at times operating with a six-man defence, but City took just 15 minutes to make the breakthrough.  

After seeing a lovely lifted effort hit the upright, Joao Cancelo drilled a low cross into the centre of the box that Foden tapped home for an easy finish.  

The hosts were only in front for two minutes, though, with Charles De Ketelaere's cutback deflecting off Bernardo Silva onto Stones' head and into the back of the net.  

City did not manage to get another shot on target before half-time, but they regained their lead nine minutes after the restart when Mahrez got in front of Eduard Sobol to nod Cancelo's cross home.  

Guardiola sent Jesus and Sterling on and three minutes later the latter tucked home his second goal of the season from inside the six-yard box after a neat team move, though his celebrations were muted. 

Jesus made the scoreline appear more comfortable than it looked like it would for a long time when he was teed up by Cancelo in the second minute of stoppage time. 
 

What does it mean? City back on track  

They may have had their chances of winning a fifth straight EFL Cup ended by West Ham and lost to Palace in the league last week, but City got exactly what they needed against Brugge.  

It was far from a vintage display – it looked like an upset could be on the card when Stones became the first City player to score an own goal in the Champions League for more than five years.  

However, they avoided the ignominy of becoming the first English side to lose a home game against Brugge in European competition, with the Belgian side having now lost 12 and drawn two of their 14 such games.  

Wow Cancelo  

Driving runs from left-back and pinpoint deliveries saw Cancelo make a pivotal impact against Brugge. He supplied seven key passes, three of which were assists, and went very close to scoring himself when he struck the upright in the first half.  

Sterling stakes his claim 

Having only started six games in all competitions this season, Sterling showed he still has the quality to make the difference for City. He has now been involved in 25 goals in 28 home games for the club in the Champions League – only Sergio Aguero (27) has played a part in more.

What's next?  

City have a trip to arch-rivals Manchester United in the Premier League on Saturday, while Brugge do not face Standard Liege in the Pro League until Sunday.

Inter moved up to second in Champions League Group D with a 3-1 away victory over Sheriff on Wednesday.

The Serie A champions secured their first win of the campaign against Yuriy Vernydub's men a fortnight ago, and they followed that up with another to move to remain two points behind leaders Real Madrid, who beat Shakhtar Donetsk earlier in the day.

Inter were unable to find a breakthrough in the first half despite carving out a host of chances, but they went ahead nine minutes after the restart thanks to Marcelo Brozovic's first goal of the season.

Milan Skriniar and Alexis Sanchez put the game beyond Sheriff, who scored a late consolation through Adama Traore, as Simone Inzaghi's side took a significant stride towards booking a spot in the last 16. 

Inter had a flurry of chances shortly before the half-hour mark, Lautaro Martinez denied by a goalline clearance and goalkeeper Georgios Athanasiadis in quick succession, while Matteo Darmian whipped wide from inside the penalty area.

Athanasiadis had to be alert to deny Edin Dzeko soon after, before Martinez crashed against the post from distance as a dominant Inter went in at the interval having had 13 shots to their hosts' one.

Inter's relentless pressure did pay off in the 53rd minute, though, Brozovic coolly cutting onto his right foot and slamming into the bottom-left corner from 18 yards.

Skriniar prodded in from close range 12 minutes later after Athanasiadis had kept out Stefan de Vrij's header and the Slovakian defender's initial follow-up.

Sanchez added a third just 33 seconds after being introduced from the substitutes' bench in the 82nd minute, lashing home after a powerful run, before Traore headed a consolation in stoppage time for the Moldovan side.

Liverpool claimed their place in the Champions League knockout stages as Group B winners with two games to spare by beating 10-man Atletico Madrid 2-0.

Goals from Diogo Jota and Sadio Mane eased the Reds past Atleti, who lost Felipe to a first-half red card, continuing to make light work of a draw that had initially been described as tough.

Diego Simeone's men are now left in a battle with Porto and Milan to qualify in second place.

Liverpool made a great start to proceedings when Trent Alexander-Arnold cracked open a five-man defence with a perfect cross from deep on the right that took one bounce before being nodded in by Jota after just 13 minutes.

And the defender repeated the trick soon after, finding Mane for a sidefooted finish to a move he had initiated with a brilliant drive through midfield.

As had been the case in the sides' meeting in Madrid, going two goals down seemed to wake Atleti up, but their hopes of overturning that deficit in similar fashion were dealt a serious blow past the half-hour mark.

Felipe looked all set to receive a booking for cynically bringing down the breaking Mane after a corner but instead earned himself a straight red by refusing to walk to the referee to receive it.

Liverpool made their numerical advantage tell during a bright start to the second half that saw a Jota goal ruled out for a tight offside before he and Mohamed Salah both wasted presentable opportunities.

It appeared the hosts could be left to rue those misses when the returning Luis Suarez smashed a deflected effort home just before the hour, only for VAR to spot Jose Giminez had taken up an offside position before knocking the ball down to his fellow Uruguayan.

And they were given another let-off with 15 minutes remaining as Hector Herrera drove badly wide after a counter started by some loose play from Thiago Alcantara.

However, there were no more scares for Liverpool - the loss of substitute Roberto Firmino to injury aside - as they saw out the remainder of an impressive win over the LaLiga champions.

Karim Benzema conceded Real Madrid were far from their best in a 2-1 Champions League win over Shakhtar Donetsk that saw them whistled by the Santiago Bernabeu crowd.

Benzema made history for Madrid in the first half as his 14th-minute strike marked Los Blancos' 1,000th goal in the Champions League/European Cup.

However, Fernando equalised for Shakhtar six minutes before half-time, with Alan Patrick also hitting the post for the visitors in the first half.

Only the reflexes of Thibaut Courtois prevented Fernando from giving Shakhtar the lead before the interval, but Madrid were better in the second half, which saw Benzema restore their lead following a neat move involving Vinicius Junior and Casemiro.

The win moved Madrid top of Group D ahead of Sheriff's clash with Inter later on Wednesday.

"The most important thing is the three points. We don't play well and we win," Benzema told Movistar. "Sometimes you can't play well. It's normal that the fans want us to always play well, attack and score goals. We try but it doesn't always work out.

"We play every three days and it is difficult. In the end there are many high-level matches like today. Sometimes you win like this, without playing well but in the end we won."

Stefano Pioli is eager to take positives from Milan's second-half performance against Porto ahead of this weekend's huge Derby della Madonnina clash with Inter.

Milan ended a club-record run of five successive defeats in the Champions League with a 1-1 draw against Primeira Liga leaders Porto at San Siro on Wednesday.

That solitary Group B point after four matches all but ends the Rossoneri's hopes of qualifying for the last 16, though, as they must win both remaining games and hope other results go their way.

Pioli's side fell behind to a Luis Diaz strike with just five minutes and two seconds on the clock – the second-fastest goal they have conceded at home in the Champions League.

Porto looked a lot sharper and should have doubled their lead when Evanilson headed against the crossbar, but Milan earned a point through Chancel Mbemba's comical own goal.

Despite remaining bottom of the group, Pioli is remaining upbeat with his side flying high in Serie A ahead of the showdown with rivals and reigning champions Inter.

"The signs are positive for us, even if the team is disappointed," he told Amazon Prime. "We wanted to find our first victory in the Champions League. 

"It is true that their pressure was strong in the first half. In the second half we did better. We moved better and their intensity in the pressure dropped.

"It is clear that conceding a goal like we did influenced our way of playing. I can't say much about the second half, especially in terms of our aggression. 

"Porto are a strong team, who last year eliminated Juventus. The level in this competition is very high. To win in the Champions League you have to deserve it. 

"The next game will be just as difficult. Inter deservedly won the championship and remain favourites to retain the title. 

"We will have to play a high level match, but we have the opportunity to do well."

Milan have won just one of their past 11 Champions League games, whereas Porto have now lost just one in nine in the group stage.

The Portuguese side had a three-day gap between their 4-1 win against Boavista and the game at San Siro, compared to a couple of days off for Milan following their win at Roma.

That was also the case prior to last month's reverse fixture, which Porto won 1-0.

"They played a day before us twice in a row," Pioli said. "If you have seven or eight days to recover it doesn't make a difference.

"But if you have three instead of four in a period where you play seven times in 21 days, it can make a difference."

Olivier Giroud was selected ahead of Zlatan Ibrahimovic up top for Milan but could not find a way through as his scoreless run in the competition stretched to 326 minutes.

At 35 years, Giroud was the oldest member of Milan's line-up and feels a lack of experience has perhaps cost his side in Europe this term.

"We're a young team but I don't want to make excuses," he told Canal+. "We also needed a little more luck. We have played some good matches in the group.

"It's tough against teams who are used to Champions League football like Porto or Atletico. Experience is important.

"Now we've got the derby with Inter and we will look to come back with the same energy and desire for that game."

Karim Benzema conceded Real Madrid were far from their best in a 2-1 Champions League win over Shakhtar Donetsk that saw them whistled by the Santiago Bernabeu crowd.

Benzema made history for Madrid in the first half as his 14th-minute strike marked Los Blancos' 1,000th goal in the Champions League/European Cup.

However, Fernando equalised for Shakhtar six minutes before half-time, with Alan Patrick also hitting the post for the visitors in the first half.

Only the reflexes of Thibaut Courtois prevented Fernando from giving Shakhtar the lead before the interval, but Madrid were better in the second half, which saw Benzema restore their lead following a neat move involving Vinicius Junior and Casemiro.

The win moved Madrid top of Group D ahead of Sheriff's clash with Inter later on Wednesday.

"The most important thing is the three points. We don't play well and we win," Benzema told Movistar. "Sometimes you can't play well. It's normal that the fans want us to always play well, attack and score goals. We try but it doesn't always work out.

"We play every three days and it is difficult. In the end there are many high-level matches like today. Sometimes you win like this, without playing well but in the end we won."

Raphael Varane is expected to be out for up to a month after sustaining a hamstring injury in Manchester United's Champions League draw with Atalanta on Tuesday.

The France international, starting for the second time since returning from a three-game lay-off with a groin issue, went down off the ball with 38 minutes played and was unable to continue.

The club confirmed on Wednesday that the 28-year-old suffered a hamstring injury and is likely to be out for the rest of November.

It gives under-fire Ole Gunnar Solskjaer a significant headache ahead of Saturday's derby against Manchester City.

It is unclear whether fellow centre-back Victor Lindelof will be fit after missing the trip to Italy through injury, while captain Harry Maguire has come under intense scrutiny after a series of slapstick displays at the heart of United's defence in recent weeks.

Eric Bailly impressed in Bergamo in just his second start of the season, and he will likely be in from the start against Pep Guardiola's side.

After the international break United have three consecutive away games, with a Champions League trip to Villarreal sandwiched between Premier League clashes at Watford and Chelsea.

Solskjaer's side, who are fifth in the Premier League, then face Arsenal at Old Trafford on December 2.

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