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Cristiano Ronaldo broke the record for
Champions League goals in a calendar year
as Real Madrid trounced APOEL 6-0 in
Nicosia.

The 32-year-old scored his 17th and 18th
goals in the competition in 2017, surpassing
his previous best tally of 15 two years ago,
as the holders made light work of the trip to
Cyprus to book their place in the last 16.

Luka Modric broke the deadlock with a
thumping volley before Karim Benzema
ended his month-long wait for a goal with his
first in this season’s group stage.
Nacho Fernandez and Benzema netted again
in a devastating six-minute spell at the end
of the first half before Ronaldo’s emphatic
header put Zinedine Zidane’s side in cruise
control.

The forward added extra gloss to
proceedings when he capitalised on more
good work from Benzema, taking his tally in
the competition for Madrid to 98 in the
process.

The result sends Madrid through but they
must content themselves with second place,
with Tottenham’s 2-1 win over Borussia
Dortmund securing top spot in Group H with
one match to play. APOEL go bottom of the
group.

Ronaldo tested Nauzet Perez in only the
second minute with a half-volley from 12
yards out, and the goalkeeper needed
medical treatment after colliding with a team-
mate following his initial save.

Two more sighters from Ronaldo had Nauzet
scrambling without needing to make a save
but Madrid’s pressure told on 23 minutes –
although APOEL rather gifted them the goal.

Vinicius tried to clear a Dani Carvajal cross
with a backheel and managed only to send
the ball looping up towards Modric 20 yards
out. The Croatian smashed a volley off the
turf and into the bottom-right corner, with
Nauzet unable to keep it out despite getting
two hands to the ball.

Madrid were cruising and they made it 2-0
before half-time, with Benzema taking a
touch before curling past Nauzet from just
inside the area after Toni Kroos teed him up
at the end of a fine move.

Scarcely a minute later, the holders had their
third. Marco Asensio’s corner was headed on
by Raphael Varane and Nacho was on hand
to flick it into the net, after drifting clear of
his marker six yardsout.

Ronaldo had been thwarted in his efforts to
score but he was happy to turn provider for
Madrid’s fourth in first-half injury time,
cutting into the penalty area and prodding
the ball to Benzema, who was left with a
simple finish.
The Portugal star at last got his own name
on the scoresheet – and set another record
– four minutes after the restart, though,
producing a towering leap to meet Marcelo’s
cross and head high past Nauzet into the
left-hand corner.

Another three minutes, and Madrid had their
sixth. Benzema closed down Nauzet and
managed to block the ball towards Ronaldo,
who fired a brilliant left-foot shot on the turn
into the unguarded net.

Asensio was denied a seventh by the legs of
Nauzet but the damage was well and truly
done, with Madrid now safely into the
knockout phase and APOEL needing a result
against Tottenham to give themselves a
chance of snatching a Europa League spot in
their last group game.

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