Real Madrid sealed qualification to the Champions League round of 16 with a 2-0 victory over Borussia Monchengladbach on Wednesday, which also ensured the Bundesliga side’s passage to the knockout phase. Only victory would have been enough to maintain Los Blancos’ 100% record in qualifying from their Champions League group and that was achieved thanks to two goals from Karim Benzema. All four teams could still have qualified from Group B and Madrid, who had suffered two defeats in the group, took the lead after just nine minutes when Benzema headed home from Lucas Vazquez’s cross. It was 2-0 on 31 minutes with Benzema again scoring via a header — this time from a Rodrygo assist. The result will ease the pressure on Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane somewhat ahead of the weekend’s local derby against Atletico Madrid. Madrid hold the Champions League record for having qualified from their group for 25 consecutive seasons since the 1997-98 campaign and they will be in the round of 16 as group winners. A draw between the group’s other two teams — Inter Milan and Shakhtar Donetsk — means Monchengladbach qualify in second place, despite finishing level on points with the Ukrainian side, courtesy of their better head-to-head.
Football CHAMPIONS LEAGUE