Cristiano Ronaldo struck four times in 19 minutes to break his own record for goals in a Champions League group stage as Real Madrid hammered Malmo 8-0 on Tuesday.
Already assured of top spot in Group A, Real had little to play for in the final game of the group phase, however, Rafael Benitez’s men still produced a scintillating performance, with Ronaldo delivering another brutal reminder of his goalscoring prowess.
It was Karim Benzema who put Real in command of the encounter at the Santiago Bernabeu, which served as the last in charge of Malmo for departing coach Age Hareide.
Benzema netted two goals inside the opening 25 minutes, pouncing on a pair of excellent crosses from Ronaldo.
Not content with his role as provider, Ronaldo took over the game in stunning fashion, bringing up his own hat-trick in 11 minutes of play to better his own mark and then adding a fourth in the 59th minute.
Mateo Kovacic then hit home a seventh before Benzema completed his treble as Real recorded only the second 8-0 in Champions League history, which also marks their biggest margin of victory in the competition’s history.
The onslaught began as early as the 12th minute. Isco met Ronaldo’s delivery only to see his goal-bound effort cleared off the line, but Benzema was there to follow up and slot home.
The hosts were soon celebrating again as another excellent ball in from Ronaldo provided Benzema with the simple task of nodding in at the far post for his second.
Ronaldo was then thwarted by a fine Johan Wiland save after slicing through the Malmo defence, with Casemiro’s headed follow-up cleared off the line.
But Ronaldo finally got his reward for a superb first-half showing, although Wiland was culpable as he allowed a swerving low free-kick to dip under his gloves and in.
The Portuguese missed a glorious opportunity to tie his group-stage record, blazing over with the net at his mercy after a mazing Isco run, but he was not to be denied just three minutes after the break.
Benzema’s blocked effort fell straight into the path of Ronaldo, who made no mistake in converting with a simple tap-in and – after Vladimir Rodic forced Kiko Casilla into action for the first time – set the new record three minutes later.
The beneficiary of more poor goalkeeping, Ronaldo’s 10th goal of the group stage came as his shot on the turn squeaked below the right arm of the unfortunate Wiland.
And he did not have to wait long for his fourth, as Isco latched on to a Benzema backheel and crossed for Ronaldo to thump in at the near post.
Kovacic piled on more misery after Benzema’s ball from the right was only half-cleared in the 70th minute, with the Frenchman rounding off the rout after Malmo lost the ball in their own half four minutes later.