Real Madrid players seen after a goal against Borussia Monchengladbach, (c) Soccrates Images.

3 talking points as Real Madrid seal Champions League last-16 spot

Real Madrid needed a win against Borussia Monchengladbach to keep their European destiny in their own hands and did not disappoint one bit.

Real Madrid won 2-0 against Borussia Monchengladbach on Wednesday evening and sealed qualification into the last-16 as group leaders. Karim Benzema scored two headers in the first half at the Alfredo di Stefano Stadium to ensure that his time won a hard-fought affair. Inter Milan drawing also meant that the German side progressed to the next round.

Los Merengues were in total control of the game from start to finish and although they stepped off the gas in the second half, they were entirely the dominant force and gave the opponents no big chances to score. With that said, one of Atalanta, Lazio, Porto and RB Leipzig await the Whites in the round of 16 to be held in February and March.

Zinedine Zidane, for the time being, is safe and on the good note, here is a look at three talking points from the Whites’ win.

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BENZEMA STEPPED UP WHEN REAL MADRID NEEDED MOST

Karim Benzema was on target twice in the first half and also struck the crossbar in the second period. The Frenchman was probably put in his best display of the season in a do-or-die match for the club and coach. He could have easily scored more as he was in incredible positions more often than not, but two strikes were enough against Gladbach.

The 32-year-old has been one of the club’s most important players in recent years and has never failed to deliver when called upon. With some difficult fixtures queued up for December including the Madrid Derby next weekend, Benzema will hold key to his side’s attacking prowess and potentially, Zizou’s stay at the Madrid helm.