Karim Benzema’s two headers sent Real Madrid into the Champions League knockout stages with victory over Borussia Monchengladbach, who also qualify for the last 16.
Inter Milan and Shakhtar Donetsk drew 0-0. Both sides needed a win to qualify but they go out with the San Siro draw. Real started the day in third place and in major danger of their first ever group-stage elimination. Benzema’s goals from Lucas Vazquez and Rodrygo crosses put Real in control. They never looked back against an underwhelming Gladbach, who only had one shot on target. Real should have won by more with Luka Modric having a goal disallowed and Benzema and Vazquez hitting the woodwork. Real have reached the knockout rounds in all 25 of their Champions League campaigns and every season since 1996-97, when they did not qualify for Europe. Zinedine Zidane’s side have won four of the past seven Champions League titles. Their participation in this season’s last 16 looked in doubt after a 2-0 defeat at Shakhtar last week. But they completely outplayed Gladbach as they moved up from third to top spot. Inter have been eliminated in the Champions League group stage for a third consecutive season. They had 20 shots but could not find a way through against their Ukrainian visitors. Goalkeeper Samir Handanovic came up for an injury-time corner and Shakhtar broke down the other end but could not get a shooting chance into an unguarded goal. Shakhtar – who beat Real Madrid both times – drop into the Europa League.