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Benzema snuffs out Sporting to seal Madrid's progress

Adrien Silva briefly put the issue back in doubt but Karim Benzema struck even later to secure Real Madrid a 2-1 win at Sporting CP and a place in the round of 16 yet again.

Highlights: See Benzema claim the spoils for Madrid

Defending champions Real Madrid booked a place in the UEFA Champions League knockout phase for a 20th consecutive season with a hard-fought 2-1 victory at Group F rivals Sporting CP, who duly exit the competition.

In an end-to-end first period, Raphaël Varane took advantage of some slack defending to open the scoring just before the half-hour and when João Pereira was dismissed with 26 minutes to go, it appeared to be game over.

However, Sporting never gave up and Adrien Silva converted from the penalty spot to give the hosts hope ten minutes from the end. Ultimately, Madrid's numerical advantage paid dividends though, and Karim Benzema's 87th-minute header proved enough to clinch the three points.