Karim Benzema saved the blushes for Real Madrid with two identical goals to take the Spanish giants into the Round of 16 of the UEFA Champions League. Real Madrid on Wednesday beat Moenchengladbach 2-0.
The result is sure to bring calm Santiago Bernabeu which has been a palace of panic this season with Real Madrid not playing at their usuar brilliance. There have been rumours that Zinedine Zidane would be sacked. Wednesday’s win is likely to rest them for now.
While Real Madrid are six points off the top of La Liga, they were on the verge of disqualification from the Champions League.
But the 2-0 win against Moenchengladbach at the Alfredo di Stefano stadium saw the 13-time European champions qualifying for the next round as the group winners.
With 10 points in Group B, Madrid finished two points ahead of second-placed Moenchengladbac, with Shakhtar Donetsk and Inter Milan bowing out of the group.
Meanwhile, Inter and Shakhtar were also in the contention for a place in the Round of 16. But a goalless draw between them saw, Shakhtar ending at 8 points and Inter at 6.
It was Inter’s third consecutive season where they crashed out of the Champions League in the group stage, following their 0-0 match against Shakhtar at the San Siro on Wednesday.
Antonio Conte’s team needed a win to make it to the knockouts alongside Zinedine Zidane’s Real Madris. But with just one win – 3-2 victory over Moenchengladbac last week – from six group matches in the entire season, Inter finished as the last team in Group B.
Meanwhile, Atletico Madrid became the second team from Group A to proceed to the Round of 16 with a 2-0 win over RB Salzburg. Bayern Munich topped the group with 16 points, while Atletico finished with 9.
In other Champions League matches on Wednesday, Liverpool drew 1-1 with Midtjylland and Ajax beat Atalanta.
Real Madrid went through to the knockout phase as Group B winners after a 2-0 victory over Gladbach with the Germans also advancing in second place.