NEWS
Tuesday November 21 2017
Madrid hit APOEL for six

Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo ended their droughts as Real Madrid thrashed APOEL 6-0 to book their place in the Champions League last 16.

Madrid were back to their dominant best at APOEL, taking a 4-0 lead before half-time, although Tottenham Hotspur's win at Borussia Dortmund meant they went through as runners-up in Group H.

Los Blancos switched to a 4-4-2 formation in Nicosia and benched Casemiro and Isco, with Lucas Vazquez and Marco Asensio coming in, while a broken nose ruled out Sergio Ramos.

Los Blancos won 3-0 the last time they met the Cypriots and needed the same result to qualify for the knockout stages.

Barely a minute in, a cross found Cristiano Ronaldo at APOEL’s far post, and he chested the ball down before firing a volley at goal from a few yards out, which Nauzet Perez kept out.

Despite a positive start from the hosts, Luka Modric blasted a first-time volley past the goalkeeper from 25 yards out for his first goal as Madrid’s No 10.

Roland Sallai should’ve equalised when he up for a cross, but the unmarked APOEL man could only head over.

Madrid were in no mood to forgive such profligacy as Benzema played a lovely give-and-go, which left him one-on-one with Nauzet, and the striker coolly finished past the goalkeeper to end his drought.

Just two minutes later, Nacho sprung APOEL’s offside trap from a corner and tapped in from a yard out just, before Ronaldo returned to Benzema for an easy finish on the stroke of half-time.

Ronaldo joined Benzema back on the scoresheet after the break as he nodded in Marcelo’s peach of a cross from the left, before capitalising on Nauzet’s gift of an open goal.

APOEL’s best chance, meanwhile, fell to Efstathios Aloneftis, whose cross-shot needed to be tipped over the bar by Kiko Casilla.

However, it could’ve been something of a cricket score for Madrid, had Borja Mayoral slid home from a yard out, Asensio beat Nauzet at his near post and Ronaldo finished off a late one-on-one.

See how the action unfolded in Cyprus with our liveblog!

APOEL 0-6 Real Madrid

Modric 23, Nacho 31, Benzema 39, 45, Ronaldo 49, 54

APOEL: Nauzet; Vouros, Rueda, Carlao, Lago; Morais (Ebecilio 66), Vinicius (Farias 59), Zahid, Sallai (Efrem 60); Pote, Aloneftis

Real Madrid: Casilla; Carvajal, Varane, Nacho, Marcelo (Theo 58); Vazquez, Modric, Kroos (Ceballos 59), Asensio; Benzema (Mayoral 64), Ronaldo 

Referee: Soares (POR)

Football Italia website