Real Madrid and Inter Milan booked their spots in the UEFA Champions League round of 16 by beating Sheriff Tiraspol and Shakhtar Donetsk, respectively. On the flipside, Borussia Dortmund crashed out of the competition after losing to Sporting Club.
Real Madrid and Inter Milan joined the English quartet, Bayern Munich, PSG, Ajax, Sporting Club, and Juventus in qualifying for the 2021/22 UEFA Champions League round of 16. Both of the European heavyweights were victorious on matchday five of the group stage – against Sheriff Tiraspol and Shakhtar Donetsk – and thus, sealed passage to the next round.
Internazionale disposed of Shakhtar in the early kick-off, beating Roberto De Zerbi’s side 2-0. Summer signing Edin Dzeko scored twice – first, in the 61st minute and then the 67th – to guide the Nerazzurri to a comfortable win. Inter, who had failed to get out of the group under Antonio Conte for two seasons in a row, did so on their first attempt under Simone Inzaghi. Their final position is yet to be determined, and they will face Real Madrid on matchday six in a straight play-off for the top spot.
Los Blancos, meanwhile, are in the driving seat in Group D thanks to a win over Sheriff Tiraspol. Carlo Ancelotti’s men exacted revenge on the minnows after suffering an embarrassing defeat by their hands on matchday 2 of the competition. Central defender David Alaba scored from a freekick – via a deflection – to set the Spanish side on its way to a victory in the 30th minute.
Toni Kroos put daylight between them and their opponents by scoring in the first-half stoppage time. Karim Benzema put the game beyond any doubt whatsoever ten minutes after the restart, when he scored with a stunning effort from the edge of the box.
One team that won’t be joining the European elite in the Champions League round of 16 is Borussia Dortmund. The German giants crashed out of the competition after being on the wrong end of a 3-1 scoreline against Portuguese outfit Sporting Club.
Pedro Goncalves scored twice to put Sporting in a comfortable position. The attacker then spurned the opportunity to complete his hat-trick from the spot as his effort was parried away by Gregor Kobel; the Dortmund custodian’s clearance fell into the path of Pedro Porro, who headed it back past him to put Sporting 3-0 up. Donyell Malen scored a late consolation goal, as Dortmund became the first major casualty of the competition.