Real maul minnows Malmo; PSG, City advance
Cristiano Ronaldo netted four times and Karim Benzema completed a hat-trick as Real Madrid hammered Malmo 8-0 to equal the biggest ever victory margin in the Champions League.
Mateo Kovacic was also on the score sheet as the 10-time European Cup winners ran riot at the Bernabeu, matching the figures set by Liverpool in December 2007 when they beat Besiktas by the same score.
Rafa Benitez has the distinction of being the winning manager on both occasions. Ronaldo probably saw the game as the perfect chance to extend his lead as the competition’s leading scorer and he saw three chances go begging before setting up Benzema for the opening goal after 13 minutes. The Portuguese found space down the left to cross and Benzema tucked home the ball after Isco’s shot was cleared off the line.
It was the same combination for the second goal in the 24th minute as Benzema headed in from six yards out. The visitors’ best effort came around the half-hour mark but Oscar Lewicki’s rising shot never troubled goalkeeper Francisco Casilla.
Back at the other end, Johan Wiland saved twice from the increasingly frustrated Ronaldo but he finally got his name on the scoresheet seven minutes before the break with a dipping free-kick which in truth the goalkeeper should have saved. Two minutes after the restart Ronaldo poked home from close range after da Silva Danilo’s shot deflected into his path and with 50 minutes on the clock he had his hat-trick, squeezing a low, hard shot past Wiland following some awful defending from Malmo, becoming the first player to score 10 goals in the group stages.
Benzema almost completed his hat-trick but it was Ronaldo who netted once more just ahead of the hour mark, firing home Isco’s cut back.
Malmo went 11 minutes without conceding before Kovacic powered home the seventh goal from a Rodriguez Jese cross and Benzema got his treble shortly afterwards as he glided by a defender and shot past Wiland, leaving Real 17 minutes to get the record. They could not do it though as Jese missed a chance late on and Isco tried to lob the goalkeeper with the last kick of the match.
PSG, Man City advance
PSG advanced from Group A behind Real and ended the phase with a 2-0 win courtesy of goals from Lucas Moura and Zlatan Ibrahimovic against Shakhtar Donetsk, who will go into the Europa League.
Manchester City are through to the last 16 as group winners for the first time after coming from behind to beat Borussia Monchengladbach 4-2 at the Etihad Stadium. Raheem Sterling celebrated his 21st birthday with a quickfire double to put City in front with nine minutes remaining before Wilfried Bony added the final gloss shortly afterwards. Manuel Pellegrini’s side had trailed after the Germans replied to David Silva’s early strike through Julian Korb and Raffael to lead at half-time.
With Juventus losing at Sevilla, the result was enough for City to leapfrog the Italians to the top of Group D while Gladbach slipped to the bottom of the table and dropped out of Europe this season.
Sevilla will have the chance to defend their Europa League crown after Fernando Llorente headed the only goal of the game against his former club.
CSKA Moscow, despite leading through Sergei Ignashevich’s 76th-minute penalty, were unable to pull off a shock win over PSV Eindhoven as Luuk de Jong and Davy Propper replied for the Dutch, and United now face the prospect of playing Europa League football in the new year. Benfica and Atletico Madrid fought it out in Portugal to top Group C and the visitors were 2-1 victors.
Saul Niguez and Luciano Vietto gave the La Liga team a two-goal cushion before substitute Konstantinos Mitroglou pulled one back. The other game in the group between Galatasaray and Astrana finished 1-1 after Selcuk Inan quickly cancelled out Patrick Twumasi’s opener for the Kazakhstan club. It was enough to see Galatasaray finish third and qualify for the Europa League.
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