Real Madrid risked flying past the playoffs – but ended as the group stage winner. Madrid is qualifying for a playoff for 25th time in a row.
The best run in Champions League history came into its 6th and the last match sitting third in a tough foursome, which meant Real Madrid was expected to beat the leader at that point - Borussia Monchengladbach to qualify out of a Group B that also included Inter Milan and Shakhtar Donetsk.
However, Zinedine Zidane's team committed no error, getting an easy 2-0 win over the German team. The French veteran Karim Benzema scored both of the goals.
The striker is constantly underestimated, so here are some facts for realizing his skill:
• Those goals became the Frenchman’s ninth and tenth Champions League headers for the last five seasons (starting 2016-2017) – and that is the best result which leaves behind Ronaldo – eight goals, and Lewandowski – nine goals.
• Benzema pairs Roberto Carlos' record for Real Madrid legionnaires with 527 matches.
• He is the fifth player who scored more than 50+ goals in Champions League group stages. He finds himself in a great company with Messi, Ronaldo, Raul and Nistelrooy, who scored more.
That victory not only allowed Real into the following stage of the tournament, but it was also sufficient to become the group leader as well.
Truly, before the hosts' second goal, Germans could level: Pléa, the French striker, after a pass from the depth, flew into the penalty area and put the ball past the goalie, however, the ball missed.
"Real" would probably have done it anyway even if that situation: even before the whistle, Modric hit the goalpost, and afterwards scored - however from an offside position. In the second half, Kroos, Ramos, Benzema might have scored (obviously with his head!) – Yann Sommer showed very good defence skills, and the bar helped Swiss again.
After the final whistle, Real Madrid celebrated calmly, while Borussia's players watched the Inter and Shakhtar match Live. Real Madrid no longer depended on its result - they made it to the playoffs by winning the group.
The freshest standings and overview of the current situation in the Group stages, you always can get from the UEFA official source.
Now about the Madrid's record: Zidane's team qualified to the Champions League playoffs for the 25th time in a row. Since the 1997/98 season, the club has constantly done it. For Real, we can easily say, to get in the group = qualify to the second stage.
The second-best result belongs to Bayern and Barcelona, but the Germans missed Champion League season 2007/08 and Barca haven't played in season 2003/04.
Furthermore, both Bayern and Barcelona threw out of groups. Once for Bayern, in the season 2002/03 when they only got 2 points and fourth position after defeat to Milan and Deportivo. That year they played draw with Lens.
Barcelona haven't qualified twice, getting the same fourth position as Bayern in tournaments of 1997/98 and 1998/99.
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