Real Madrid's journey to a third consecutive Champions League trophy has continued in some style, as a 6-0 thrashing of Apoel secured their place in the last-16 stage of Europe's elite competition.
Apart from an early chance from Cristiano Ronaldo the opening minutes in Cyprus were quite quiet, but as the half went on Madrid certainly took it up a gear as goals from; Luka Modric, Karim Benzema, Nacho and another from Benzema in the final 20 or so minutes made sure of the result for the visitors.
Madrid picked up where they left off as two goals from Ronaldo inside the opening minutes of second period added to their scoreline, further chances followed from Marco Asensio and Borja Mayoral but Madrid had to settle for just six in the end.
Finally making the breakthrough
It hasn't been the season that many will have predicted for Zinedine Zidane's side as their faltering La Liga form has seen them ten points behind Barcelona, their Champions League form has been the only shining beacon as they look to win their third consecutive Champions League title.
Many will have expected a walkover from the Spanish giants over the Cyprus minnows but coming into this clash with a draw from the Westfalenstadion from the last match day Apoel were certainly no pushover, and that showed in the lack of chances in the opening minutes of the clash.
Madrid continued to press and press their hosts but to no avail, until the 23rd minute when Modric took matters into his own hands to give Madrid the lead. It was poor from Apoel as Dani Carvajal's cross was lazily cleared by the backheel of Vinícius which landed on the boot of the Croatian whose effort could only be helped into the net by Nauzet Pérez.
Quick triple blow
From that point it only looked like their would be one result as the holders looked to go for the jugular inside the final minutes of the clash, and three quick-fire goals certainly put an end to the competitiveness of the clash inside the GSP Stadium.
It was too simple in the 39th minute for The Galácticos as Ronaldo quickly gave the ball off to Toni Kroos who punished the space inside the Apoel defence as he threaded it through to Benzema, and the Frenchman made no mistake as buried it into the bottom corner.
Almost instantaneously Madrid found themselves three goals to the good and once again it proved way too simple, Kroos whipped the corner into the dangerzone which was headed on by Raphael Varane which Nacho was alive to by beating Pérez and flicking it into the net.
The tie was sealed as the half entered additional time as Madrid added a fourth, it was another great break from a poor header back upfield with Kroos releasing Benzema. The striker spread it across to Ronaldo on the left-hand side of the area and looked to be going alone as he sent the defender flying with the fake shot, but played it back across to Benzema who had the simple job of slotting into an empty net.
Keeping up his excellent European record
The FIFA Ballon d'Or winner has been really struggling for form domestically for Madrid in recent months, but it has been in the Champions League like Madrid where Ronaldo has shone brightest and he scored sixth and seventh goals of the group stages just after the restart.
The first came in the 49th minute and it was a trademark Ronaldo goal for everyone to enjoy, skipper for the night Marcelo whipped in a great ball from the left aiming for the talisman and he made no mistake as he headed home.
The second came minutes later and showed just the predatory skills of the winger, himself and Benzema did well to pressurise the Apoel defence and the Frenchman was rewarded as he latched onto a poor backpass. He was denied however as Pérez's defection looked to have ended the attack, but Ronaldo was quick to get onto the lost cause and turn it into an empty net.
Looking for more
Despite steamrolling their opponents Madrid weren't looking to show or give any mercy for Giorgos Donis's side, and they had perfectly legitimate chances to add a seventh.
The first came in the 71st minute as Varane this time carried the ball forward before picking out Asensio, the youngster looked to add a goal of his own but Pérez will take some pride as he deflected it wide.
The final opportunity arrived in the 82nd minute as another poor attack from Apoel resulted in another break from Madrid with the blistering pace of Theo Hernández, he played a ball into the far post where Mayoral was waiting but slipped at the crucial moment as his effort looped over the crossbar.