CRISTIANO Ronaldo scored four goals and became the first player to hit 11 in the Champions League group stage as Real Madrid thrashed Malmo 8-0 at the Bernabeu.
Karim Benzema also netted a hat-trick and Mateo Kovacic got on the scoresheet as Real recorded their biggest ever win in the tournament on Tuesday night.
Rafa Benitez’s side were already guaranteed top spot in Group A before the visit of the Swedish side, but the Spanish boss would have wanted a convincing result to relieve some of the pressure that has been piling upon him in recent weeks – and he got just that.
It was a nightmare end for Malmo boss Age Hareide, however, who was taking charge of his final game with the club.
Real took the lead after just 12 minutes when Ronaldo found Isco in the box after some excellent work down the left, and his shot was blocked off the line by a Malmo defender before the ball fell straight to Benzema, who made no mistake in slotting home into an unguarded net from close range.
Right after the midway point in the first half, Benzema added his second. Ronaldo was the creator again, getting to the byline before whipping one over to the far post, where Benzema had peeled away from his man before heading home.
Real continued to dominate their Swedish opposition, and Ronaldo added their third after 39 minutes when his free-kick skipped over the arms of the Malmo goalkeeper Johan Wiland, who should have done a lot better, and into the bottom corner.
Malmo, who needed at least a point to qualify for the Europa League, fell even further behind less than two minutes after the break as Ronaldo made it 4-0, slamming home from six yards while unmarked after Danilo’s shot had deflected off a defender and into his path.
On the 50-minute mark, Ronaldo had his hat-trick and Real’s fifth, firing home from inside the box to grab his 10th in the Champions League group stage: a new record.
But the 30-year-old would go one better with Real’s finest goal of the night nine minutes later. Benzema was cornered wide by two Malmo defenders, but his lovely backheel beat both of them and found Isco, who charged into the box and picked out Ronaldo. He made no mistake in sliding it home past Wiland.
Real kept coming and with 20 minutes left on the clock, they had a seventh. Jese found his way to the byline with a driving run before getting a low cross in, which was diverted away from goal by Malmo’s stopper, but only as far as Kovacic just inside the area, who slammed it straight back into the net.
The rout was complete four minutes later as Benzema grabbed a deserved third.
Malmo, foolishly, tried to play the ball out from the back before being caught out by Kovacic. He found Isco, who then slipped it in to Benzema, and the Frenchman showed good composure in firing home.
All in all, it was a triumphant night for Benitez, regardless of the calibre of the opposition. Only twice has a team won 8-0 in the Champions League, and on both occasions they were managed by the Spaniard, whose Liverpool side put eight past Besiktas in the group stage in 2007. — Sky Sports
PSV 2-1 CSKA Moscow
Benfica 1-2 Atletico de Madrid
Sevilla 1-0 Juventus
PSG 2-0 Shakhtar Donetsk
Wolfsburg 3-2 Manchester United
Galatasaray 1-1 FC Astana
Man City 4-2 Borussia Monchengladbach