Nicosia (Reuters): Holders Real Madrid sealed a place in the Champions League last 16 with a thumping 6-0 victory at APOEL Nicosia on Tuesday after doubles from Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo but will still finish runners-up to Tottenham Hotspur in Group H.
Ronaldo wrapped up Real’s biggest Champions League away win with two goals at the start of the second half. He now has 18 in the competition this year, extending his record from 16 and taking his overall Champions League scoring record to 113.
Zinedine Zidane’s side, who have been inconsistent in La Liga this season, were already coasting thanks to first-half goals from Luka Modric, a Karim Benzema double and Nacho strike.
Spurs’ 2-1 win at Borussia Dortmund means they have claimed top spot on 13 points, with a game to spare, ahead of Real on 10 points. APOEL will fight it out with Dortmund for third place and a Europa League spot, with both teams on two points.
“We can’t do anything about finishing second now. Other teams will not want to face us in the next round and we will do our best to qualify (from the last 16),” said Zidane.
“We know Ronaldo and Benzema are good players and they were going to score sooner rather than later. In a season you always have tough moments but we always thought they would improve.”
Ronaldo added: “We knew before the game that we needed to win to go through to the next round. We played very well, we scored six times and the team played amazing football. We are very happy. The job was done.”