Apoel Nicosia 0-6 Real Madrid: Los Blancos Cruise Past Cypriots to Go Through to Knockout Stage

Real Madrid progressed through to the Champions League knockout stage on Tuesday evening with an emphatic 6-0 win over Apoel Nicosia.

However, after coming back from behind against Borussia Dortmund, Tottenham Hostpur have all but guaranteed top spot in Group H.

Madrid put out a very strong side, and that showed against the European minnows who struggled to contain their potent attack all evening, collapsing after just half an hour.

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?Madrid almost opened the scoring in the second minute with a devastating counter attack – Karim Benzema escaped up the right, crossed the ball deep for Ronaldo to chest down but the star’s shot was fired straight at Nauzetwith the rebound poked behind for a corner.

The APOEL goalkeeper looked hazy after colliding with his own defender’s knee during the clearance but managed to stay on.

?The Champions League holders kept pushing and were eventually rewarded in the 23rd minute when Luke Modric pounced on a poor flamboyant clearance from Brazilian midfielder Vincius and volleyed in from 25 yards out to make it 1-0.

Benzema then got his first Champions League goal since February in the 39th minute as the APOEL defence parted like the red sea, leaving the Frenchman to pick his spot and finish coolly to double their lead.

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The floodgates were most definitely open and it was 3-0 just two minutes later – Rafael Varane rose highest at the corner and his flick on was bundled in by Nacho Fernandez.

The European heavyweights managed to make it four before half-time with another brilliant counter attack resulting in Ronaldo uncharacteristically playing the ball square for Benzema to tap in.

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Madrid seemed to be scoring every time they went forward and the APOEL changing room was probably wishing the full-time whistle had just been blown rather than the half-time one.

It didn’t get much better for them after the restart though, as Ronaldo finally got his goal with an iconic hanging header for his seventh goal in five Champions League games.

The 54th minute saw Ronaldo double his personal tally after Benzema pressured Jesus Rueda into making a poor back pass which the Portuguese star pounced on and hammered home into an open net.

Young Spanish striker Borja Mayoral was given a run out for the latter stage of the game and he missed a sitter in the 82nd minute – not that it really effected the final result.

The game looked like it could break the record that Liverpool equalled in their 7-0 demolition at Maribor, but Madrid took their foot off the gas for the last half hour, with one eye possibly on Saturday’s fixture against Malaga.

This trouncing could be exactly what is needed to allow Real to forget about their La Liga struggles and kick on from their poor form at the start of this season.

They have one more group stage match against Borussia Dortmund left, but topping their group remains unlikely with Spurs unlikely to drop points at Wembley against this evidently poor Apoel Nicosia side.

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11 2017
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