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Zidane praises Benzema and Ronaldo after APOEL victory

Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane has praised both Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo for their goals against APOEL on Tuesday evening.

A 3-1 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur on the last match-day matched with a 0-0 draw against Atletico Madrid in the league at the weekend; put slight pressure on Zinedine Zidane’s men to seal three points and qualify for the knock-out stages of the competition.

Croatian midfielder Luka Modric opened the scoring on what would turn out to be an easy night for Los Blancos, firing in from 25 yards.

Karim Benzema, who has struggled for form this season, added two of his own, finishing off twice inside the area.

Nacho, who was standing in for Sergio Ramos, would then get on the score-sheet as Madrid’s efforts turned more training ground like, than anything else.

Cristiano Ronaldo, not to be missed off the goalscorers – then added a double of his own in the second half, heading in Marcelo’s croiss, before scoring from the edge of the area.

The Portuguese forward became only the third player in Champions League history to score in each of the first five group games of a season.

And, Zidane spoke to reporters following the game of his delight on the result and the performances of Benzema and Ronaldo.

“I’m very happy – we scored six and kept a clean sheet,” he said.

“We played a great game, and used our heads. I’m pleased for the lads because they’re working hard for all this and we know things will change. Now we need to continue like this.

“We know Ronaldo and Benzema are good players and that they were going to score sooner rather than later.

“In a season, you always have tough moments but we always thought they would improve.

“It was a good game for us. That Ronaldo and Benzema both scored twice makes us really happy.

“We’ve come away delighted, we did everything we wanted to do and we need to carry on like this. In the last three games, we’ve scored goals and kept clean sheets

“It’s a long season; we’re happy to continue improving and get through.”

Madrid’s victory sees them qualify but Tottenham Hotspur’s win over Borussia Dortmund means they will finish as group winners.

Zidane will now focus on the final group game before waiting to see which group winner they will face in the next round.

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