Wednesday 22 May 2019

Ronaldo lands another record as Real secure knockout spot

Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo in action against Apoel Nicosia’s Vinicius Junior. Photo: Reuters
Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo in action against Apoel Nicosia’s Vinicius Junior. Photo: Reuters

Independent.ie Sportsdesk

Cristiano Ronaldo set another Champions League record as holders Real Madrid sealed their place in the knockout stages with a comprehensive 6-0 victory over Apoel Nicosia.

Zinedine Zidane's team had the match won by half-time with goals from Luka Modric, Fernandez Nacho and a Karim Benzema double.

Cristiano Ronaldo got his customary goals early in the second half as his two strikes saw him reach 18 goals in the competition in 2017 - more than any single player in a calendar year.

However Madrid, who have lifted the trophy in each of the past two years, will only qualify as runners-up to Tottenham in Group H.

Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane reacts during the match. Photo: Reuters
Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane reacts during the match. Photo: Reuters

Napoli kept their hopes of progressing alive with a 3-0 win over Shakhtar Donetsk.

A brilliant strike from 25 yards by Lorenzo Insigne opened the Serie A leaders' scoring in the 56th minute before Napoli's Polish midfielder Piotr Zielinski slotted home after a smart exchange with Dries Mertens.

Seven minutes from the end Mertens made sure of the win to leave Napoli third on six points, three behind Shakhtar Donetsk, before the final round of games which sees Napoli away at Feyenoord and the Ukrainians at home to Manchester City.

Maribor snatched a dramatic 1-1 draw away to Spartak Moscow with a stoppage-time goal from Jasmin Mesanovic. The Russians looked all set to move level on points with Liverpool after Mendes Ze Luis finally broke the deadlock with just eight minutes left.

However, the Slovenian side produced a grandstand finish when Mesanovic tapped in a cross from Marcos Tavares.

Last year's semi-finalists Monaco crashed out of Europe after 4-1 home defeat to Leipzig.

Real Madrid's French forward Karim Benzema (centre) vies for the ball with Apoel's Greek defender Praxitelis Vouros (right) Apoel's Spanish midfielder Jesus Rueda. Photo: Getty Images
Real Madrid's French forward Karim Benzema (centre) vies for the ball with Apoel's Greek defender Praxitelis Vouros (right) Apoel's Spanish midfielder Jesus Rueda. Photo: Getty Images

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