Football: Ronaldo hits brace as Real surge into last 16
NICOSIA - Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema both scored twice as holders Real Madrid crushed APOEL 6-0 in Nicosia to seal a place in the Champions League last 16.
Luka Modric volleyed Zinedine Zidane's team into the lead on 23 minutes before Real floored Cypriot champions APOEL with five goals in a 15-minute blitz either side of half-time.
"It was a very good evening for us," said Zidane, whose side fell 10 points behind Barcelona in La Liga following Saturday s 0-0 draw away to city rivals Atletico Madrid.
"We are on the right track. We re doing things well and we are building in strength. It's never easy but it was a complete display and we scored quickly," he added.
"These goals are important for us and very important for Cristiano and Karim because they live to score goals."
But the European champions could face Pep Guardiola s Manchester City in the next round after Tottenham Hotspur s 2-1 win at Borussia Dortmund ensured the English side will finish top of Group H.
"We know that whoever the opposition, they will all be good," said Zidane. "We are going to play a team that will have finished top of their group which means they will be very solid."
Real struck first through Croatia midfielder Modric s dipping 25-yard volley before Benzema burst through the home defence to add a second on 39 minutes.
Centre-back Nacho reacted quickest to Raphael Varane's flick-on from a corner to increase Real's advantage two minutes later, and Benzema rolled in his second moments before the break after Ronaldo selflessly squared for the Frenchman.
However, he remains the leading scorer in this year's Champions League and netted Real's fifth in Cyprus when he connected with a Marcelo cross on 49 minutes.
The 32-year-old completed the rout five minutes later by notching his eighth goal of the group stage to downplay concerns about his poor form amid Real s faltering Spanish title defence.
APOEL, who go to Wembley to face Tottenham in their final match, must better Dortmund s result at Real in a fortnight to parachute into the last 32 of the Europa League.-Online
- OPPO donates Rs6.2 million for Prime Minister COVID-19 Relief Fund10:11 PM | 4 Apr, 2020
- Coronavirus: Over half a million applied to join Tiger force in just ...07:12 PM | 4 Apr, 2020
- The World of Future Technology07:04 PM | 4 Apr, 2020
- Coronavirus: China mourns COVID-19 victims06:29 PM | 4 Apr, 2020
- Afghan nationals wishing to return will be allowed to leave Pakistan05:29 PM | 4 Apr, 2020
- Has Junoon's Salman Ahmad infected by COVID-19?03:54 PM | 4 Apr, 2020
- Jennifer Aniston hasn’t found self-isolating difficult, here's why03:48 PM | 4 Apr, 2020
- Money Heist Season 4 is out and the fans can't be happier!03:41 PM | 4 Apr, 2020
- Pakistani student gives birth to baby girl in Wuhan, China04:00 PM | 15 Mar, 2020
- Top 10 Google searches in Pakistan for 201906:52 PM | 12 Feb, 2020
- Top five impressive benefits of Orange juice07:14 PM | 6 Feb, 2020
- 8 Reasons to buy HONOR 8 Series04:49 PM | 23 Oct, 2019