PARIS, Nov 5 (AFP): Holders Real Madrid and 2013 finalists Borussia Dortmund eased into the last 16 of this season�s Champions League with two group games to spare yesterday.
Madrid recorded their fourth win in four Group B games, and their 12th consecutive victory in all competitions, beating Liverpool 1-0 at the Santiago Bernabeu thanks to a first-half Karim Benzema goal.
Meanwhile, Dortmund shrugged aside their dreadful domestic form to maintain their perfect record in Group D, crushing Galatasaray 4-1 in Germany.
Elsewhere, Atletico Madrid and Bayer Leverkusen won to close in on qualification for the last 16 while Juventus, Basel and Benfica all recorded precious victories but Arsenal threw away a three-goal lead to draw 3-3 with Anderlecht in London.
Carlo Ancelotti�s Madrid utterly outclassed Liverpool in winning 3-0 at Anfield two weeks ago and a similar outcome appeared on the cards when visiting manager Brendan Rodgers named a side missing regulars such as captain Steven Gerrard and Raheem Sterling.
However, in the end the only goal of the game came in the 27th minute, Benzema converting a Marcelo cross at the back post. That meant Cristiano Ronaldo remains on 70 Champions League goals for now, one short of the competition record still held by Madrid great Raul.
�I think we played well, albeit the tempo wasn�t that high,� said Ancelotti, while Rodgers praised Liverpool�s display.