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Canadian soccer star Alphonso Davies made his return from a months-long absence on Wednesday, suiting up for Bayern Munich in its 1-0 loss to Spain’s Villarreal in Champions League action.

Davies hadn’t played since Dec. 17 after developing symptoms of myocarditis, a mild heart condition, after a bout of COVID-19.

The illness kept the 21-year-old from Edmonton out of Canada’s final six CONCACAF World Cup qualifying matches. Canada went 4-2-0 over that span to qualify for the marquee tournament for the first time since 1986.

He played the full Champions League quarter-final first leg at left back for Bayern on Wednesday. The second leg goes Tuesday in Munich.

For Villarreal, after making it past the group stage and eliminating Juventus in the round of 16, the modest Spanish club took a big step toward reaching the semi-finals by holding onto a slim victory against favourite Bayern at the La Ceramica Stadium.

Arnaut Danjuma’s goal early in the first half was enough for Villarreal, with Bayern unable to get past the solid defence of Unai Emery’s squad and losing only for the second time in 30 Champions League matches.

Bayern was unbeaten in its past 22 away games in the Champions League, with 17 wins and five draws in a record run that had started after a loss in 2017 to a Paris Saint-Germain team coached by Emery.

The return leg is next week in Munich, where Villarreal will need a draw to get to the semi-finals for the first time since its first last-four appearance in the Champions League in 2006.

In the other quarter-final Wednesday, defending champion Chelsea lost 3-1 to Real Madrid in the first leg in London.

Davies, recently chosen the CONCACAF men’s player of the year, appeared in seven games for Canada in the final round of World Cup qualifying.

The team had a 3-0-4 record over those games including a 4-1 win over Panama that featured a highlight-reel goal by Davies.

Bayern said Jan. 5 that Davies had joined a lengthy list of players who had tested positive for COVID, adding the speedy fullback was well and self-isolating at home.

Davies was back training a week later, but his return was put on hold with Bayern reporting Jan. 14 that tests showed the Canadian was suffering from signs of myocarditis.

It is a temporary condition in the vast majority of cases, according to experts.

Davies’s myocarditis was detected in the follow-up examination that all players who have had COVID undergo.

In London, make that back-to-back Champions League hat tricks for Karim Benzema.

Defending champion Chelsea was on the receiving end this time as the 34-year-old forward showed his enduring scoring quality by leading Real Madrid to a 3-1 win in the first leg of the quarter-finals.

Having already turned around the last-16 meeting against Paris Saint-Germain with a treble, Benzema is almost single-handedly keeping the Spanish giant on the path to a 14th European Cup. The France forward now has 37 goals in 36 games in all competitions this season.

His first two at Stamford Bridge were thumping first-half headers in the driving rain, while the third was gifted to him in a manner that raised doubts about whether Chelsea can muster a comeback in Madrid on Tuesday.

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