MADRID: Cristiano Ronaldo became the first player to hit double figures in the group stage of the Champions League as he and Karim Benzema ran riot in Real Madrid’s 8-0 thrashing of Malmo to equal the highest-ever victory in the modern competition.
Ronaldo scored four times, Benzema a hat-trick and Mateo Kovacic the other as the record 10-time European champions matched the size of Liverpool’s victory over Besiktas in December 2007. Rafael Benitez was manager on both occasions.
Portugal’s captain totalled 11 goals in Group A.
Paris Saint-Germain advanced behind Madrid and ended the phase with a 2-0 win courtesy of goals from Lucas Moura and Zlatan Ibrahimovic against Shakhtar Donetsk, who will go into the Europa League.
Manchester City are through to the last 16 as group winners for the first time from Group D after coming from behind to beat Borussia Monchengladbach 4-2.
Raheem Sterling celebrated his 21st birthday with a quickfire double to put City in front with nine minutes remaining before Wilfried Bony added the final gloss shortly afterwards.
Manuel Pellegrini’s side had trailed after the Germans replied to David Silva’s early strike through Julian Korb and Raffael to lead at half-time.
With Juventus losing at Sevilla, the result was enough for City to leapfrog the Italians to the top of Group D while Gladbach slipped to the bottom of the table and dropped out of Europe this season.
Sevilla will have the chance to defend their Europa League crown after Fernando Llorente headed the only goal of the game against his former club.
However it was not such a good night for Manchester United, who crashed out of the competition after a 3-2 loss toWolfsburg on a night of high drama in Germany.
Anthony Martial put the Red Devils ahead after 10 minutes, but Naldo equalised before the Bundesliga runners-up went in front following a delicious 11-pass move that was finished by Vierinha.
A late own goal by Josuha Guilavogui gave United hope but Naldo found the net shortly after to seal victory and top spot in Group B and send the injury-hit Reds down into the Europa League.
CSKA Moscow, despite leading through Sergei Ignashevich’s 76th-minute penalty, were unable to pull off a shock win over PSV Eindhoven as Luuk de Jong and Davy Propper replied for the Dutch, and United now face the prospect of playing Europa League football in the new year.
Benfica and Atletico Madrid fought it out in Portugal to top Group C and the visitors were 2-1 victors. Saul Niguez and Luciano Vietto gave the La Liga team a two-goal cushion before substitute Konstantinos Mitroglou pulled one back.
The other game in the group between Galatasaray and Astrana finished 1-1 after Selcuk Inan quickly cancelled out Patrick Twumasi’s opener for the Kazakhstan club. It was enough to see Galatasaray finish third and qualify for the Europa League.