Real Madrid vs Liverpool
Real Madrid's players celebrate a goal against Liverpool during their Champions League Group B match at Santiago Bernabeu stadium in MadridReuters

Real Madrid booked a place in the last sixteen of the Champions League following a narrow 1-0 win over Liverpool at the Bernabeu Stadium.

Karim Benzema's first half strike proved to be enough as the Reds rarely threatened in the Real Madrid defensive third, creating a total of four chances.

While Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti fielded a pretty strong side, his Liverpool counterpart Brendan Rodgers made a controversial decision, as he opted to rest some of his key players - Steven Gerrard, Jordan Henderson, Mario Balotelli, Philippe Coutinho and Raheem Sterling – ahead of their weekend English Premier League clash against Chelsea.

The game started with James Rodriguez, who scored a brace during Real Madrid's 4-0 win over Granada on Saturday, forcing an excellent save from Simon Mignolet with a well struck 20-yard effort in the 4th minute.

The Liverpool goalkeeper was again in the thick of the action in the 10th minute when Benzema, after capitalising on an error from Martin Skrtel, picked out Ronaldo in a very dangerous position. The Portuguese fired a good effort that was just tipped over by the Belgian shotstopper.

Despite the Reds' best attempts to weather the storm, Real Madrid finally went ahead in the 27th minute through Benzema. Marcelo, after finding some space on the left flank, whipped in a low cross towards the French striker, who raced ahead of Kolo Toure to smash the ball into the roof of the net.

Real Madrid, who were going for the jugular, nearly doubled their lead through Ronaldo in the 35th minute but Mignolet again made a good save to keep out a venomous freekick from the former Manchester United forward.

With six minutes remaining in the first half, Ronaldo got another chance to double his side's advantage, but the 29-year-old Portuguese wasted the opportunity as he failed to connect with Luka Modric's lofted through ball.

After the break, Real Madrid continued to show their dominance as Mignolet was forced into another save by Ronaldo in the 49th minute.

Liverpool created their first chance of the game when Adam Lallana, after picking up a pass from Alberto Moreno, narrowly fired wide of the post in the 57th minute.

Kolo Toure, who was responsible for Liverpool conceding the first goal, made amends for his mistake as he made an excellent last ditch tackle to deny Ronaldo in the 68th minute.

Real Madrid continued to dominate and create more chances in the closing stages of the game but Liverpool managed to hold them at bay and the game finally ended with the Los Blancos recording a 1-0 win.

Liverpool, who have now suffered three successive defeats in the Champions League, need to win both their remaining games against Ludogorets Razgrad and FC Basel if they are to have any hopes of qualifying for the next round of the competition.

Real Madrid - Liverpool FC 1:0 All Goals... by master_blue

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