New Delhi: Defending champions Real Madrid secured their place in the knockout stages of the UEFA Champions League after thrashing Apoel Nicosia 6-0 in Cyprus on Tuesday. Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema scored a brace each, while Luka Modric, Fernandez Nacho netted one goal each to make sure that visiting side wins the game without any trouble.
Meanwhile, Ronaldo also set a new UCL record as his two strikes, which came early in the second half, saw the Portuguese reach 18 goals in the competition in 2017 – more than any single player in a calendar year.
However, Madrid only go through as runners-up in Group H behind Tottenham Hotspur, who confirmed top spot.
In a different match, Tottenham came back from behind to beat hosts Borussia Dortmund 2-1 to secure their place at the head of the group with a game to spare. Dortmund drew the first blood in the game through Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s first-half strike, but Harry Kane and Son Heung-Min scored a goal each in the second half to secure a victory for the visitors.
On the other hand, Dortmund needed a win to keep alive their slim hopes of progressing to the last 16, however, they will now have to wait for the final match day next month which will see the Europa League qualification spot contested between Apoel and Dortmund, who both have two points from their five matches. Dortmund will travel to Real Madrid while Apoel will be guests to Tottenham.
In another match, Sevilla came back from 3 goals down to play a 3-3 draw against Liverpool. The Reds took the three goals lead in the first half, however, hosts Sevilla dominated the second half and courtesy poor defending by Liverpool, the home side netted three goals to avoid the loss.
Now, according to the equation in Group E, Liverpool need a point against Spartak to now qualify but Sevilla could grab top spot as they play already-eliminated Maribor.