UEFA Champions League
Result: APOEL Nicosia 0-6 Real Madrid
Date: 21 November 2017
Venue: GSP Stadium
Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema each bagged a brace as Real Madrid showed glimpses of their best form in a 6-0 drubbing of APOEL in Tuesday night’s Champions League clash in Nicosia, sealing their place in the last 16.
Los Blancos went straight onto the front foot as Karim Benzema picked out Ronaldo from the right and the Portuguese forced Nauzet Pérez into an early save from his low strike.
The visitors continued to dominate thereafter and took the lead in the 23rd minute. Vinicius’ poor clearance fell to Luka Modrić, who beat Pérez with a long-range strike that should perhaps have been kept out.
Out-of-form striker Benzema bagged a much needed goal in the 39th minute after some quick passing in the build-up. Toni Kroos played the killer pass to the Frenchman and he calmly slotted home.
Two minutes later, Real struck again. From a corner, Raphaël Varane headed into the path of Nacho, who was left with a simple finish from close range.
The defending champions sliced APOEL open with a swift counter-attack in first half stoppage time, with Benzema passing the ball to Ronaldo, receiving it back, and tapping it in for his second goal.
The second half picked up where the first left off as Ronaldo headed home from Marcelo’s cross for Real’s fifth.
The Cypriots gifted Zinedine Zidane’s side another goal in the 54th minute, when Benzema chased down Jesús Rueda’s sloppy back pass to Pérez, getting to it in time to prevent the keeper from clearing and to set up Ronaldo for a simple finish.
Los Blancos didn’t add to their lead after that, but Zidane will be delighted with their performance. He will hope that Ronaldo and Benzema can carry their newfound momentum into La Liga as they chase down leaders Barcelona.