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Madrid book their place in Champions League Round of 16

MATCH REPORT. 24/11/2021. Alberto Navarro. Photographer: Antonio Villalba y Pedro Castillo

Goals for Alaba, Kroos and Benzema seal a fifth consecutive win for our team, who will play for top spot in the group against Inter on the final day.

Real Madrid got the better of Sheriff at the Tiraspol Stadion to book their place in the Champions League Round of 16. AlabaKroos and Benzema were the goal scorers as Ancelotti's side stormed to a fifth win on the bounce, three away from home, and will now play for top spot in the group on the final day. They will qualify as group winners provided they don't lose to Inter at the Santiago Bernabéu on 7 December.

Our team turned the game well in their favour in the opening 45 minutes, netting two goals and creating plenty of chances to score more. The first dangerous move came with 18 minutes on the clock when Carvajal's drilled cross was met by Rodrygo in the box, but Athanasiadis did well to keep him out. Five minutes later, the Brazilian whipped in a cross for Benzema, but the Frenchman’s header flew over the crossbar. It seemed only a matter of time before the visitors would open the scoring, and so it proved with half-an-hour on the clock, as Alaba smashed in a free-kick which took a flick off Cristiano on its way into the back of the net.

Video.Madrid book their place in Champions League Round of 16

The goal gave Real Madrid real impetus as they began to dominate play under the guidance of Carlo Ancelotti from the sidelines. The visitors continued to carve out chances and on 41’ Ferland Mendy’s cross to the back post found Dani Carvajal, and the full-back’s volley missed the crossbar by millimetres. In first-half stoppage time, they did manage to double their lead and the goal came in some style. Luka Modrić, Rodrygo and Vinicius Jr. linked up sensationally on the edge of the box before the ball was squared to Toni Kroos and the German superbly curled the ball in off the underside of the bar and over the line.

After the re-start, the Whites came out fired up and in the 55th minute they made it 0-3. Karim Benzema collected the ball on the edge of the area after it was laid off to him by Mendy and the Frenchman riffled the ball into the bottom corner. The hosts came close to reducing the deficit with three consecutive shots, but Traore’s acrobatic effort was well punched away by Courtois and seconds after S. Thill’s cross bounced back off the Madrid post. Real Madrid controlled the game from then on and almost added another goal on 88’. Marco Asensio’s effort from inside the area forced Athanasiadis into a fine save and one minute later he denied Benzema.

Fifth successive win

Real Madrid have now won their last five games in a row, three away from home. The run began prior to the international break with a win at Elche (1-2), then Shakhtar Donetsk (2-1) and Rayo Vallecano (2-1). On Sunday, they thrashed Granada (1-4) on their return to action and tonight's win over Sheriff (0-3) at the Tiraspol Stadion continued the streak.

Seven different goal scorers in the last two games

The greatest reflection of Real Madrid's goal scoring capabilities is the wide range of attacking options at their disposal. That has been blatantly clear over the last couple of games, in which they have hit seven goals, each scored by different players. Asensio, Nacho, Vinicius Jr. and Mendy found the back of the net against Granada, while Alaba, Kroos and Benzema were all on the scoresheet at the Tiraspol Stadion.

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The referee

Szymon Marciniak (Poland), assisted by Paweł Sokolnicki and Tomasz Listkiewicz. Tomasz Musiał was the fourth official, while Tomasz Kwiatkowski (Polond) was the VAR.

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