Benzema scores twice as Real Madrid thrash Viktoria Plzen 5-0

Benzema scores twice as Real Madrid thrash Viktoria Plzen 5-0
Soccer Football - Champions League - Group Stage - Group G - Viktoria Plzen v Real Madrid - Doosan Arena, Plzen, Czech Republic - November 7, 2018 Real Madrid's Casemiro in action with Viktoria Plzen's Roman Prochazka REUTERS/David W Cerny -
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PLZEN, Czech Republic (Reuters) - Real Madrid took a huge step towards clinching a spot in the Champions League knockout stage on Wednesday with a 5-0 rout of Viktoria Plzen as Karim Benzema scored two of four first-half goals for the Spanish giants.

Benzema opened the scoring in the 20th minute when he beat two defenders before slipping a shot through the legs of Plzen goalkeeper Ales Hruska.

Casemiro doubled the lead three minutes later when the Brazilian outjumped his marker and headed home from a corner.

An unmarked Benzema notched his second goal in the 37th minute with a redirected header assisted by Gareth Bale to give Real a 3-0 lead and Benzema returned the favour minutes later when he flicked on a cross for Bale to sweep home a volley.

Toni Kroos completed the scoring in the 67th minute when he cooly chipped over the keeper after a counter-attack.

With two games remaining in Group G Real Madrid are in second spot, level on nine points with AS Roma.

(Reporting by Robert Muller, Writing by Michael Kahn, Editing by Martyn Herman)

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