Saturday, April 20

Benzema inspires Real Madrid to last 16

Real Madrid secured qualification for the Champions League round of16 with a 2-0 win over Borussia Monchengladbach.

Real’s win was followed by a goalless draw between Inter Milan and Shakhtar Donetsk which also ensured the Bundesliga side’s spot in the knockout phase. It was a do or die match for Real Madrid as they were on the verge of demotion to the Europa League. Only a victory would have been necessary to retain the 100 percent record of Los Blancos in qualifying from their Champions League group.

Real Madrid took the lead after just nine minutes when Benzema headed home from Lucas Vazquez’s cross. Real Madrid doubled their lead before half time, thanks to Benzema again. It was 2-0 on 31 minutes with Benzema again scoring via a header — this time from a Rodrygo assist.

Ramos returned from injury and played a big role in the clean sheet. He had a game-high three clearances, intercepted a pass, and won half of his aerial challenges. Monchengladbach didn’t look threatening the whole match and had only one shot on target. Meanwhile Real should have won by more with Luka Modric having a goal disallowed and Benzema and Vazquez hitting the woodwork.

Madrid holds the Champions League record for having qualified from their group. The record stands; 25 consecutive seasons since the 1997-98 campaign and they will be in the round of 16 as group winners.

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