Ronaldo, Benzema braces as Real Madrid rout Apoel Nicosia
Apoel Nicosia 0 - 6 Real Madrid

Ronaldo, Benzema braces as Real Madrid rout Apoel Nicosia

21/11/2017

Cristiano Ronaldo set another Champions League record as holders Real Madrid sealed their place in the knockout stages with a comprehensive victory against Apoel Nicosia.

Zinedine Zidane's team had the match won by half-time with goals from Luka Modric, Fernandez Nacho and a Karim Benzema double. Cristiano Ronaldo got his customary goals early in the second half as his two strikes saw him reach 18 goals in the competition in 2017 -- more than any single player in a calendar year.

However Madrid, who have lifted the trophy in each of the past two years, will only qualify as runners-up in Group H after Tottenham came from behind to beat Borussia Dortmund 2-1 in Germany to ensure top spot.

The final match day next month will see the Europa League qualification spot contested between Apoel and Dortmund, who both have two points from their five matches. Apoel will travel to Tottenham while Dortmund face Madrid at the Bernabeu.

Ronaldo worked Apoel goalkeeper Nauzet Perez early on and narrowly missed the target with a couple of long-range efforts before Modric made the breakthrough after 23 minutes with a low strike that Perez could only palm into the side of the net.

Real were sloppy in the Madrid derby at the weekend and there had been signs of a continuation of that prior to the goal. Apoel almost punished them just before the half-hour mark but Roland Sallai's header dropped just wide.

Zidane's team responded by hitting their opponents with a flurry of goals either side of the half-time whistle.

Benzema raced through the middle to score after 39 minutes and two minutes later Nacho flicked the ball home from a Raphael Varane header following Toni Kroos' corner. Good link up play between Ronaldo and Benzema presented the France international with an easy goal before the break.

Ronaldo headed the fifth goal four minutes after the restart from a Marcelo cross and the competition's leading scorer was at it again in the 54th minute when he hooked the ball into an unguarded net after Benzema had blocked a clearance from the goalkeeper following an under-hit pass back.

Real's biggest win in the Champions League is 8-0 against Malmo, a record shared with Liverpool who beat Besiktas by the same score, and they had that in their sights.

Ronaldo and Benzema were also both chasing the match ball and both came within a whisker of getting on the end of a Dani Carvajal cross to complete their hat-tricks. Marco Asensio then saw an effort saved by the legs of Perez midway through the second half.

Madrid appeared to take their foot off the gas thereafter but substitute Borja Mayoral missed a glorious chance to score a seventh when he slipped at the crucial moment after 82 minutes.

Related news

Cristiano Ronaldo free kick helps Real Madrid win Club World Cup

Cristiano Ronaldo free kick helps Real Madrid win Club World Cup

Cristiano Ronaldo scored from a free kick to help Real Madrid beat Gremio 1-0 and claim the Club World Cup in Saturday's final in Abu Dhabi.

Ronaldo, Bale score as Real Madrid advance to Club World Cup final

Ronaldo, Bale score as Real Madrid advance to Club World Cup final

Gareth Bale was the surprise hero as Real Madrid survived a shock against outsiders Al Jazira to win 2-1 in Wednesday's extra dramatic Club World Cup semifinal in Abu Dhabi.

Real Madrid play PSG in Champions League, Chelsea get Barcelona

Real Madrid play PSG in Champions League, Chelsea get Barcelona

Reigning champions Real Madrid will face Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League round of 16, while Chelsea take on Barcelona.

Cristiano Ronaldo wins fifth Ballon d'Or to pull level with Lionel Messi

Cristiano Ronaldo wins fifth Ballon d'Or to pull level with Lionel Messi

Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo won the fifth Ballon d'Or of his career on Thursday, matching Lionel Messi as the most-awarded winner of one of the sport's top individual honours.

Coutinho nets hat trick as Liverpool thrash Spartak to win group

Coutinho nets hat trick as Liverpool thrash Spartak to win group

A scintillating display of football from Liverpool's Fab Four saw Jurgen Klopp's side blaze their way into the Champions League knockout phase with a 7-0 victory over Spartak Moscow.

Manchester City fall to first defeat as Shakhtar seal progress with win

Manchester City fall to first defeat as Shakhtar seal progress with win

Manchester City slumped to their first defeat of the season with a 2-1 loss to Shakhtar Donetsk in their final Champions League Group F game.

Fernando Llorente and Georges-Kevin Nkoudou strike as Spurs seal easy win

Fernando Llorente and Georges-Kevin Nkoudou strike as Spurs seal easy win

Fernando Llorente and Georges-Kevin Nkoudou scored their first goals for Tottenham goal as Spurs strolled into the Champions League round of 16 by beating Apoel Nicosia.

Cristiano Ronaldo grabs another record as Real Madrid beat Dortmund

Cristiano Ronaldo grabs another record as Real Madrid beat Dortmund

Cristiano Ronaldo became the first player to score in every Champions League group stage match as Real Madrid beat Borussia Dortmund 3-2 at the Bernabeu.

Napoli out of Champions League after losing to 10-man Feyenoord

Napoli out of Champions League after losing to 10-man Feyenoord

Feyenoord finally secured their first points in Champions League Group F, rallying from a goal down to beat Napoli 2-1 on Wednesday, costing the Serie A side a spot in the round of 16.

RELATED NEWS

Cristiano Ronaldo free kick helps Real Madrid win Club World Cup
Real Madrid 1 - 0 Gremio

Cristiano Ronaldo free kick helps Real Madrid win Club World Cup

Cristiano Ronaldo scored from a free kick to help Real Madrid beat Gremio 1-0 and claim the Club World Cup in Saturday's final in Abu Dhabi.

Ronaldo, Bale score as Real Madrid advance to Club World Cup final
Al Jazira 1 - 2 Real Madrid

Ronaldo, Bale score as Real Madrid advance to Club World Cup final

Gareth Bale was the surprise hero as Real Madrid survived a shock against outsiders Al Jazira to win 2-1 in Wednesday's extra dramatic Club World Cup semifinal in Abu Dhabi.

Real Madrid play PSG in Champions League, Chelsea get Barcelona
Champions League round of 16 draw

Real Madrid play PSG in Champions League, Chelsea get Barcelona

Reigning champions Real Madrid will face Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League round of 16, while Chelsea take on Barcelona.

Cristiano Ronaldo wins fifth Ballon d'Or to pull level with Lionel Messi
Ballon d'Or

Cristiano Ronaldo wins fifth Ballon d'Or to pull level with Lionel Messi

Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo won the fifth Ballon d'Or of his career on Thursday, matching Lionel Messi as the most-awarded winner of one of the sport's top individual honours.

Coutinho nets hat trick as Liverpool thrash Spartak to win group
Liverpool 7 - 0 Spartak

Coutinho nets hat trick as Liverpool thrash Spartak to win group

A scintillating display of football from Liverpool's Fab Four saw Jurgen Klopp's side blaze their way into the Champions League knockout phase with a 7-0 victory over Spartak Moscow.

Manchester City fall to first defeat as Shakhtar seal progress with win
Shakhtar 2 - 1 Manchester City

Manchester City fall to first defeat as Shakhtar seal progress with win

Manchester City slumped to their first defeat of the season with a 2-1 loss to Shakhtar Donetsk in their final Champions League Group F game.

Fernando Llorente and Georges-Kevin Nkoudou strike as Spurs seal easy win
Tottenham 3 - 0 Apoel Nicosia

Fernando Llorente and Georges-Kevin Nkoudou strike as Spurs seal easy win

Fernando Llorente and Georges-Kevin Nkoudou scored their first goals for Tottenham goal as Spurs strolled into the Champions League round of 16 by beating Apoel Nicosia.

Cristiano Ronaldo grabs another record as Real Madrid beat Dortmund
Real Madrid 3 - 2 Dortmund

Cristiano Ronaldo grabs another record as Real Madrid beat Dortmund

Cristiano Ronaldo became the first player to score in every Champions League group stage match as Real Madrid beat Borussia Dortmund 3-2 at the Bernabeu.

Napoli out of Champions League after losing to 10-man Feyenoord
Feyenoord 2 - 1 Napoli

Napoli out of Champions League after losing to 10-man Feyenoord

Feyenoord finally secured their first points in Champions League Group F, rallying from a goal down to beat Napoli 2-1 on Wednesday, costing the Serie A side a spot in the round of 16.