Ronaldo helps Madrid edge Dortmund
CRISTIANO Ronaldo became the first player ever to score in all six Champions League group games in one season as Real Madrid edged out a dispirited Borussia Dortmund 3-2 on Wednesday.
Lucas Vazquez grabbed the winner nine minutes from time for the European champions, who were already guaranteed a place in the last 16 as runners-up in Group H to Tottenham Hotspur.
Ronaldo took his tally to nine goals in six European appearances this season with a spectacular long-range effort into the top corner after Borja Mayoral’s opener to give Real a 2-0 lead inside 12 minutes.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang continued his excellent record against Madrid with a quickfire double either side of half time to bring Dortmund level.
But despite Vazquez’s late strike, the Germans drop into the Europa League with a record low two points thanks to their better goal difference over APOEL Nicosia, who were defeated 3-0 at Spurs.
Real were, though, hit by a fresh injury blow as French international defender Raphael Varane limped off just before half time holding his left leg.
Zinedine Zidane now faces a defensive crisis ahead of the visit of Sevilla tomorrow with captain Sergio Ramos, right-back Dani Carvajal and holding midfielder Casemiro all suspended.
“With Rafa he has done some damage to himself, but we will see tomorrow when we do the scans,” Zidane said.
“He won’t be there on Saturday that is for sure. We have to look for solutions.”
Zidane made six changes from the side that started Saturday’s 0-0 draw at Athletic Bilbao, but the hosts still made a flying start.
Ronaldo’s fine through ball just evaded Isco, but fell perfectly into the path of Mayoral and the 20-year-old kept his cool to chip the onrushing Roman Burki for his first Champions League goal.
Ronaldo had his 114th in the competition moments later as he lined up a sumptuous strike from 25 yards.
However, the warning signs of a Dortmund recovery were in evidence as the first half wore on as Varane had to make last-ditch challenges to deny Aubameyang and Shinji Kagawa.
Aubameyang has spoken openly of his desire to play for Madrid one day and did his case no harm with two classy finishes either side of half time.