We’ve seen what we saw Wednesday from Real Madrid before.
Manchester City? Not so much.
Real Madrid restored some Champions League luster with a 6-0 steamrolling of Galatasaray, while City had to deputize defender Kyle Walker at goalkeeper and escape Atalanta with a 1-1 draw.
Elsewhere, Paris Saint-Germain beat Club Brugge 1-0 to clinch advancement to the knockout stage, and Bayern Munich blanked Olympiacos 2-0 to do the same. Bayer Leverkusen also upset Atlético Madrid 2-1.
In the wildest result of the day, Shakhtar Donetsk rallied from two goals down in stoppage time to draw Dinamo Zagreb 3-3.
Rodrygo hat trick powers Real Madrid
Could Rodrygo be Real Madrid’s next superstar? The $50 million transfer fee the Spanish giants paid Santos for his services suggests so.
As does Rodrygo’s performance on Wednesday.
The 18-year-old Brazilian recorded a hat trick in the 6-0 victory, including two goals in the first eight minutes, the first of which was a deft bit of touch and composure (via Bleacher Report):
He headed home his second a couple minutes later, and polished off his hat trick in stoppage time:
Karim Benzema also scored twice, and Sergio Ramos converted a Panenka penalty in the first half.
Real Madrid is never really stable, per se, even by big club standards, but this kind of dominance has been sporadic after the club’s run of four European crowns in five years ended 17 months ago.
If this rebooted side is going to reach those heights, the summer signings will need to come good. Rodrygo is one of them. And Wednesday was just one example of his potential.
Kyle Walker, goalkeeper extraordinaire
First, starting keeper Ederson was substituted at halftime of Manchester City’s 1-1 draw due to injury. Then, backup Claudio Bravo was sent off for this challenge:
Because Nicolás Otamendi was level with Atalanta’s Josip Iličić, the referee decided against ruling the denial of a clear goal-scoring opportunities.
But City was still down two keepers, so Walker had to serve as the emergency option. He did well to save Ruslan Malinovskiy’s whipping free kick and limit the spill of the rebound:
City expertly sat on the ball in Atalanta’s end for most of the rest of the contest, protecting Walker against more dangerous attacks.
Mario Pašalić brought Atalanta level in the second half after Raheem Sterling, Bernardo Silva and Gabriel Jesus combined for another City masterwork:
Manchester City hasn’t had much resistance in Group C, winning its first three games by a combined score of 10-1. Even after settling for a point, they’re still almost assured of advancing.
Shakhtar Donetsk puts together incredible rally
City’s in a comfortable spot thanks in part to what went down in Croatia.
Shakhtar Donetsk scored twice in stoppage time to earn a 3-3 draw, a wild finish no one saw coming. Especially not after Dinamo Zagreb took the lead in the 83rd minute and added an insurance goal in the 89th minute.
The home crowd sensed victory after Luka Ivanušec’s go-ahead goal:
But Júnior Moraes pulled one back for Shakhtar in the third minute of stoppage time, and a few minutes later, Shakhtar keeper Andriy Pyatov drew a penalty in the box on a last-gasp set piece in search of an equalizer.
Video assistant referee confirmed the decision, and Tetê coolly slotted home the spot kick:
Shakhtar is now second in the group by virtue of away goals scored vs. Dinamo Zagreb, with a trip to City and a home game against last-place Atalanta remaining.
If they springboard into the knockout stage from here, we’ll all remember where it started.
Champions League scores
Bayern Munich 2-0 Olympiacos
Lokomotiv Moscow 1-2 Juventus
Red Star Belgrade 0-4 Tottenham Hotspur
Bayer Leverkusen 2-1 Atletico Madrid
Paris Saint-Germain 1-0 Club Brugge
Atalanta 1-1 Manchester City
Dinamo Zagreb 3-3 Shakhtar Donetsk
Real Madrid 6-0 Galatasaray
More from Yahoo Sports: