MX23RW : Sunday, December 16 11:25:35
Nov 21, 2017 at 7.45pm UK at ​Neo GSP Stadium
Attendance: 19,705
Real Madrid
FT(HT: 0-4)
Modric (23'), Benzema (39', 45'), Nacho (41'), Ronaldo (49', 54')

Live Commentary: APOEL 0-6 Real Madrid - as it happened

Relive Sports Mole's live commentary of the Champions League Group H clash between APOEL and Real Madrid, which ended in a 6-0 away win.

Real Madrid booked their spot in the last-16 stage of the Champions League courtesy of a 6-0 win away to APOEL on Tuesday night.

Los Blancos entered the match knowing that a win would guarantee their place in the knockout round - eliminating Borussia Dortmund in the process - and the European champions ran riot in Nicosia.

Read how it all unfolded in Sports Mole's minute-by-minute live commentary of the action below.

6.46pmEvening all! Sports Mole's live Champions League coverage continues from Nicosia as APOEL welcome the European champions Real Madrid. A win would see Los Blancos qualify tonight, but a defeat would leave them in a very delicate position. Stay tuned for live updates from Cyprus!

6.49pmTonight will bring the fourth meeting between APOEL and Real Madrid in European competition. The Spanish giants have won each of their three previous match-ups – including a 3-0 victory on matchday one. Their last meeting in Cyprus occurred during the quarter-finals of the 2011-12 Champions League, with Real Madrid recording a 2-0 win. Will history repeat itself tonight?

6.52pmRight, without further ado, let me bring you up-to-speed with the all-important team news from Nicosia. APOEL will enter the match off the back of a 3-1 win at Omonia Nicosia in the league on Friday night, while Real Madrid drew 0-0 with Atletico Madrid on Saturday. Any changes? Let's have a look...


APOEL: Perez; Vouros, Rueda, Carlao, Lago; Morais, Zahid, Vinicius; Pote, Aloneftis, Sallai

REAL: Casilla; Carvajal, Varane, Nacho, Marcelo; Kroos, Modric, Asensio; Lucas, Benzema, Ronaldo


7.02pmAPOEL boss George Donis has made one change from the team that started their last Champions League clash with Borussia Dortmund as Roland Sallai comes in for club captain Nektarios Alexandrou. Spanish duo Roberto Lago and Jesus Rueda both start at the back, while Mickael Pote will support Efstathios Aloneftis in the final third. It looks to be a 4-3-3 for the home side tonight.

7.05pmReal Madrid are without captain Sergio Ramos after the centre-back suffered a broken nose during the 0-0 draw with Atletico Madrid at the weekend. Nacho is the player to come into the back four, while Marco Asensio and Lucas Vazquez take the places of Isco and Casemiro, who are both on the bench.

7.08pmSo there we have it. The two teams are in, and we are just about 40 minutes from kickoff in Cyprus. I shall speak about the home side a little bit later, but let's start with Real Madrid. As mentioned, a win tonight would see Real Madrid book their spot in the round of 16, although they would also go through with a draw if Borussia Dortmund fail to beat Tottenham Hotspur in Group H's other match.


7.15pmTottenham currently sit top of Group H on 10 points having picked up four points from their two matches with Real Madrid. Indeed, the London club recorded a 3-1 win over Los Blancos at Wembley last time out, but Dortmund's struggles mean that Zinedine Zidane's side should still comfortably book their spot in the next round of the competition.

7.18pmIn 21 previous participations in the Champions League, Real Madrid have never failed to progress to the round of 16. They actually finished second behind Dortmund in last season's group stage, and went on to win a second successive Champions League. Indeed, they are bidding to win a 13th European Cup and their third in a row this season. A win tonight books their spot in the knockout stage once again.

7.22pmAs mentioned, Zidane's side opened their campaign with a 3-0 win against APOEL, before recording a 3-1 victory at Dortmund. They then drew 1-1 with Tottenham at the Bernabeu, before losing at Wembley last time out. The Madrid giants will enter this match with a five-point lead over third-placed Dortmund, however, which is an indication of their strength in the section.


7.28pmReal Madrid can simply never be ruled out when it comes to this competition, but a goalless draw with Atletico Madrid in La Liga at the weekend has left Zidane's side 10 points off league leaders Barcelona. Cristiano Ronaldo has only managed one league goal this season, and it is very difficult to imagine Barcelona dropping a 10-point lead, even at this stage of the campaign.

7.32pmAs for APOEL, the Cypriot club are in the group stage of the Champions League for the fourth time. As mentioned, they made the quarter-finals of the 2011-12 campaign before losing to Real Madrid, and also competed during the 2014-15 season. They qualified for the Champions League this term after winning a fifth successive Cypriot league title in 2016-17. Kickoff is fast approaching here!

7.35pmAPOEL have made a very slow start to their title defence, however, after dropping points in four of their nine league matches this season. George Donis's side sit fifth in their domestic table – nine points off leaders Anorthosis. That said, APOEL do have three games in hand over the table-toppers.

7.42pmAPOEL lost 3-0 to Real Madrid and Tottenham in their first two Group H matches, but have drawn 1-1 with Dortmund home and away in their last two. They can still make the round of 16, but have to win tonight to stay in contention. It is some task from this position though considering that they finish away to Tottenham towards the start of next month. Right, kickoff in Nicosia is next. Stay tuned!

0 minKICKOFF! APOEL kick things off on home soil...

2 min... it must be said that there is a wonderful atmosphere inside the stadium tonight. The noise will be insane if APOEL manage to take the lead. Just a reminder that the home side need to win to stand a chance of making the round of 16, while a win for Real Madrid would see the holders advance.

2 minSAVE! Wonderful save from Perez as the APOEL goalkeeper keeps out a powerful strike from Ronaldo, who had collected a deep cross from Benzema. Super save there!

3 minAPOEL's goalkeeper has not been up to his feet since making that save!

5 minEventually the resulting corner is delivered towards the APOEL penalty area, but the home side manage to clear their lines. Real Madrid are looking very dangerous in these early moments.

6 minAPOEL might have to make a change here as their goalkeeper Perez goes down once again. It appears that he might have taken a kick from his own defender, which caused a head injury.

6 minPerez is back on his feet once again. Quite bizarre, but he continues for now!

8 minGood pressure from the home side in the last couple of minutes as Real Madrid look nervy in a defensive area. Eventually Lago has a strike from distance, and Casilla is forced to make the save. The incredible atmosphere is really firing up the APOEL players, who are full of running early on.

10 minIt must be said that the first 10 minutes of this match have flown past. Real Madrid have had the best chance thus far, but APOEL have been extremely confident in possession of the ball here.

13 minPossession football for Real Madrid in the last few minutes, with Kroos and Modric enjoying the ball in the middle of the park. APOEL are well organised, however, as they continue to make it difficult for Benzema and Ronaldo to find space. Oh how those two could do with a goal tonight.

14 minCarvajal's effort is comfortably saved by Perez as Real Madrid threaten once again.

16 minYou do get the feeling that the first goal tonight - if there indeed is one - could be vital. Real Madrid continue to dominate the ball, but APOEL are not afraid to commit players forward when they have the chance to break. Pote in particular is causing a lot of problems in forward areas.

17 minVincius misses the Real Madrid goal from distance following some smart build-up work.

18 minRonaldo flashes a long-range strike wide of the home side's post.

20 minStill goalless with 20 minutes on the clock, but it has been a good game of football. Real Madrid have played the better stuff in the final third, but APOEL have not been afraid to commit players forward when given the chance. Surely the first goal will soon arrive in Nicosia.

21 minRonaldo is standing over a free kick some 45 yards from goal...

21 min... CLOSE! Ronaldo's powerful strike is not too far wide of the post!

23 minGOAL! APOEL 0-1 Real Madrid (Modric)

24 minReal Madrid make the breakthrough in the 23rd minute as Modric's long-range volley finds its way into the back of the net! It was a super strike, but Perez perhaps should have done better there!

26 minModric gets ready to release another strike, but Vinicius is on hand to make a fine challenge. Real Madrid are purring at the moment as they bid to score their second goal in quick succession.

28 minCHANCE! Good chance for the home side as Sallai meets a super cross from a wide position, but the number 20 could only head over the crossbar! Let-off for Real Madrid there.

30 minRonaldo flies through the air in a bid to meet a cross from Lucas, but the referee blows for a free kick. Ronaldo is desperate to get his name on the scoresheet tonight, and he has been lively in the opening 30 minutes. APOEL really cannot afford to concede a second at this stage of the match.

32 minDortmund have just taken the lead against Tottenham in Germany, with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang finding the back of the net. That will not mean too much if Real Madrid win tonight, however. Indeed, as it stands, Real Madrid and Tottenham will make the round of 16.

33 minHalf-chance for Ronaldo, but he heads a Marcelo cross wide of the post.

35 minAll Real Madrid at the moment as they continue to pass and probe in the final third of the field. Ronaldo again links with Benzema, but Rueda does enough to make a vital challenge.

37 minIt must be said that the first half of this match has absolutely flown past. APOEL can be pleased with many aspects of their performance, but they have not really created many clear-cut chances. Modric's long-range volley is the difference between the two teams with 37 minutes on the clock.

39 minThe home fans continue to boo as Real Madrid keep possession just inside the APOEL half.

39 minGOAL! APOEL 0-2 Real Madrid (Benzema)

40 minReal Madrid double their lead in the 39th minute as Benzema collects a super pass from Kroos before curling the ball into the bottom corner. He really, really needed that goal!

41 minReal Madrid look for another before the break, but Ronaldo's long-range strike is deflected wide.

41 minGOAL! APOEL 0-3 Real Madrid (Nacho)

42 minReal Madrid score their third as Nacho meets a header from Varane to turn the ball home! APOEL wanted offside, but Nacho somehow stayed level, before acrobatically finishing past Perez!

44 minAPOEL are struggling here as Real Madrid continue to find space in the final third of the field.

45+1 minGOAL! APOEL 0-4 Real Madrid (Benzema)

45+2 minWow! Real Madrid have their fourth of the match following a quick counter-attack! It is brilliant from Ronaldo, who settles on the ball before sliding a pass into Benzema, and the striker cannot miss!

45+2 minHALF-TIME: APOEL 0-4 Real Madrid

8.33pmThe referee brings the first period to a close with Real Madrid leading APOEL 4-0 following an incredible end to the first 45 minutes. Benzema has scored twice for the visitors, while Modric and Nacho are also on the scoresheet for a team heading for the last-16 stage of the competition.

8.38pmSTATISTICS! Real Madrid dominated the first-half possession with 63%, while they managed 10 attempts - six of which were on target. APOEL, meanwhile, hit the target with one of their five attempts. There has not yet been a single yellow card - it has not been that type of football match.

8.43pmBENCH WATCH! Isco, Casemiro, Ceballos, Theo and Mayoral are among those that will be hoping to feature for Real Madrid in the second 45 minutes. APOEL, meanwhile, have the likes of Alexandrou, De Camargo and Efrem in reserve. Surely it has to be damage limitation for the home side from here.

46 minRESTART! Real Madrid resume the action here...

47 min... no changes from either side at the break, but I suspect that both managers will have alterations in mind as the second period develops here. Will Real Madrid come out firing once again?

49 minReal Madrid are utterly dominating the possession here as they continue to pass and probe in the final third of the field. Ronaldo will be desperate to get his name on the scoresheet tonight, and it would take a brave man to bet against that happening in the final 40 minutes or so here.

49 minGOAL! APOEL 0-5 Real Madrid (Ronaldo)

50 minAnd there is the Ronaldo goal! The Portuguese hangs in the air to head a super Marcelo cross into the back of the net! He looks a lot happier after a difficult run of form in the league.

52 minCHANCE! Super chance for Real Madrid as Ronaldo combines with Benzema before looking to find the back of the net, but the number seven drags his effort just wide of the post!

54 minGOAL! APOEL 0-6 Real Madrid (Ronaldo)

55 minIt is six for Real Madrid and Ronaldo has his second! Terrible goalkeeping from Perez as the APOEL stopper is beaten to the ball by Benzema, and Ronaldo picks up the rebound to fire home!

57 minReal Madrid are preparing to make a double change with 57 minutes on the clock here.

59 minREAL MADRID SUB! Theo Hernandez and Ceballos replace Marcelo and Kroos.

60 minAPOEL SUB! Farias replaces Vinicius for the home side.

61 minAPOEL SUB! Efrem replaces Sallai for the home side.

63 minLittle over 25 minutes of football remaining, and APOEL have at least managed to go through the last few minutes without conceding. In fairness to the home fans, they are doing their best to keep the atmosphere strong. It has all gone wrong for the home side after a bright start to the match.

64 minConcern for Benzema and Ronaldo as the pair bundle into each other inside the APOEL box.

65 minBoth players return to their feet, but it was some clash! Benzema seemed to push Ronaldo over in a bid to get to the ball. Let's pretend that happened because that would be some story!

65 minREAL MADRID SUB! Mayoral replaces Benzema for the final 25 minutes.

67 minAPOEL SUB! Ebecilio replaces Morais in the home side's final change.

69 minNot an awful lot to report in terms of chances in the last few minutes, although Real Madrid remain the team on the front foot. Los Blancos are absolutely sailing into the last-16 stage of the competition.

72 minThe likes of Mayoral and Vazquez will be looking to help Ronaldo get his hat-trick in the final 20 minutes or so. I suspect that the number seven will have at least two chances to get it.

73 minSAVE! Smart save from Perez to keep out Asensio's near-post strike.

75 minCarvajal charges into Lago as Real Madrid up the pace in the final third, but APOEL just about manage to clear their lines. I would be surprised if we did not see at least one more goal in the final 15 minutes. That said, there have not been many chances since Ronaldo scored his second.

78 minEfrem has been lively for the home side since entering the field, but APOEL as a team have just not offered enough since the first 15 minutes or so. It looked quite bright at that stage of the match.

80 minVouros breaks forward for the home side before having a pop, but his effort was always comfortable for Casilla. Can APOEL give their fans something to cheer late on here? Still time.

83 minPote is still battling away for APOEL as the number eight looks to get something from the Real Madrid defence, but not too much has happened for the willing forward tonight. Real Madrid's players all look very relaxed as we head for the final five minutes in Nicosia.

83 minCHANCE! Super chance for Real Madrid as Asensio races clear before finding Hernandez, who delivers a stunning cross towards Mayoral, but the striker cannot convert under pressure from Aloneftis!

85 minCasilla has to tip a cross from Aloneftis over the Real Madrid crossbar as the home side look to grab a late consolation. Still more than five minutes of football to play here.

86 minIt is like a basketball match at the moment! Incredible! Six Real Madrid players race forward, but Ceballos sees his goal-bound effort blocked. It was like watching a 100m sprint.

88 minNot long left here, and APOEL will be pleased when the final whistle goes, that is for sure.

90+1 minBOOKING! Carvajal (Real Madrid) is booked for timewasting!

90+2 minWe are into the second of three additional minutes in Nicosia.

90+3 minFULL-TIME: APOEL 0-6 Real Madrid

9.36pmSo there we have it. The referee brings the second period to a close with Real Madrid running out 6-0 winners over APOEL to book their spot in the last-16 stage of the competition. Thanks for joining Sports Mole for our live coverage once again. Until next time!

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Dele Alli and Hector Bellerin in action during the Premier League game between Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal on March 5, 2016
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