Benzema closes in on Champs League 40-goal tally
arim Benzema scored the only goal of the game as Real Madrid safely booked their place in the quarter-finals of the Champions League yet again at the expense of Liverpool on Wednesday evening.
Protecting a 5-2 lead from the first leg, the holders rarely looked in any danger of shipping one goal – yet alone the three Liverpool required – before Benzema sealed a 6-2 aggregate triumph at the Bernabeu.
The goal was Benzema’s 89th in the Champions League, leaving him just two short of Barcelona’s Robert Lewandowski as the third-highest scorer in the competition’s history.
Other members of the 40-goal club such as Lionel Messi, Thomas Muller, Mohamed Salah and Kylian Mbappe all drew blanks in the latest round of fixtures, but the likelihood of a new member joining in the near future was heightened by Erling Braut Haaland’s historic five-goal haul, taking him up to 33 in just 25 Champions League outings overall.
Meanwhile, Napoli also progressed to the Champions League quarter-finals for the first time in their history, after securing a comfortable 3-0 victory at home against Eintracht Frankfurt in the second leg of their last-16 tie on Wednesday, winning 5-0 on aggregate.
Star striker, Victor Osimhen, scored either side of half time before Piotr Zielinski converted from the penalty spot just after the hour mark to ensure that the Parthenopeans have their name in the hat for Friday’s quarter-final draw.
Despite being banned from attending the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona following unsavoury incidents in last month’s first leg in Germany, hundreds of Frankfurt supporters travelled to Naples and clashed with Italian police prior to kickoff, with smoke bombs and flares thrown and cars set on fire.
On the pitch, Frankfurt – who were having to cope without top scorer, Randal KoloMuani, following his red card in the first leg – made a bright start to proceedings and appeared to have learned lessons from the first leg, pressing high with aggression and putting Napoli under pressure in their own half.
However, the first decent chance fell to in-demand striker,Osimhen, in the 15th minute, who saw a first-time shot saved low down by Kevin Trapp, before wing wizard Khvicha Kvaratskhelia glided into the final third and fired a strike into the legs of Frankfurt’s number one from a tight angle. -Sports Mole