Victory over Celtic was never in doubt at the Santiago Bernabeu, where Real Madrid sealed top spot in Group F.
Real Madrid secured first place in UEFA Champions League Group F with an easy 5-1 win over Celtic.
Madrid held a one-point lead over RB Leipzig heading into the final round of fixtures and needed to equalize their Bundesliga result against Shakhtar Donetsk to secure victory in the group.
Leipzig cruised to a 4-0 win over Shakhtar, but Celtic never seemed to do the German side any favours, converting two penalties in 21 minutes as Luka Modric and Rodrygo converted from 12 yards.
Josip Juranovic missed a first-half free-kick at the other end before Marco Asensio, Vinicius Junior and Federico Valverde made the score a deservedly emphatic display for Carlo Ancelotti’s men, although Jota had the final say with a fine free-kick for the visitors. .
Modric’s superb penalty put Madrid ahead in the sixth minute from Moritz Jenz’s through ball, and after seeing Vinicius Junior brought down by Joe Hart’s penalty, the home side doubled their lead with a second free-kick, this time Rodrygo converting with Matt O’Riley adjudged to have handled it after VAR review.
Celtic posed a threat of their own and were given a chance to halve the deficit when Ferland Mendy brought down Liel Abad, although Thibaut Courtois denied Juranovic, as did Lionel Messi when he last faced a Champions League penalty in February.
Any faint hope of a Celtic fightback was put to bed six minutes into the second half when Asensio fired into the bottom left corner.
Vinicius heaped more misery on Celtic after he was hauled off by Valverde, who then swept home a stylish 15th from the edge of the box.
Jota’s consolation was just as pleasing to the eye as he powered his effort past Courtois and into the top left corner.
Real Madrid vs Celtic player ratings
1. Real Madrid (4-3-3)
GK: Thibaut Courtois – 8/10 – Some nice saves to keep Celtic calm in the first half and got an excellent hand to Juranovic’s penalty.
RB: Dani Carvajal – 5/10 – His lack of pace was exposed here as the Celtic forwards continued to get behind him in the first half.
CB: Eder Militao – 6/10 – Some excellent moments and some unconvincing moments. Probably all balances out.
CB: David Alaba – 6/10 – Didn’t have a whole lot to do really.
LB: Ferland Mendy – 5/10 – Repeatedly lost his man in the first half and was clumsy as he dragged down Abada for the penalty. Fortunate to get bailed out by Courtois.
DM: Toni Kroos – 7/10 – Classy as ever. Didn’t move around the pitch too much but didn’t need to, instead spraying passes around comfortably.
CM: Luka Modric – 8/10 – Sublime in midfield as always and topped it all off with the early penalty.
CM: Federico Valverde – 9/10 – A great assist, a glorious goal and another top performance.
RW: Marco Asensio – 9/10 – Created real problems down the right for Celtic but also put in a massive shift at the defensive end as he helped out Carvajal. Took his goal very well.
ST: Rodrygo – 7/10 – Some excellent movement and dribbling which kept the pressure on Celtic’s back line. Nice and composed from the penalty spot.
LW: Vinicius Junior – 6/10 – Looked a bit like the Vinicius of old in the first half but managed to get his goal in the end.
SUB: Karim Benzema (64′ for Vinicius) – 6/10 – Some good movement in his cameo.
SUB: Lucas Vazquez (64′ for Carvajal) – 6/10 – A reliable threat down the right.
SUB: Dani Ceballos (66′ for Modric) – 6/10 – Had a job to do off the bench and did it well.
SUB: Nacho Fernandez (66′ for Alaba) – 6/10 – Barely even involved, such was Real’s dominance in the second half.
SUB: Jesus Vallejo (73′ for Militao) – 6/10 – A composed showing.
Manager: Carlo Ancelotti – 6/10 – Real were a little more open at the back than Ancelotti would have liked but you can’t argue with such an emphatic victory.
2. Celtic (4-2-3-1)
GK: Joe Hart – 4/10 – A poor decision for the first penalty in what was a tough evening for the stopper.
RB: Josip Juranovic – 3/10 – Compounded Celtic’s misery with a poor penalty.
CB: Carl Starfelt – 3/10 – Didn’t look fully fit on his return from injury as he chased Real’s forwards around to no avail.
CB: Moritz Jenz – 2/10 – Set the tone by giving away a penalty five minutes in. Looked terrified whenever asked to do anything.
LB: Greg Taylor – 2/10 – Chasing shadows as Asensio breezed past him with ease.
DM: Aaron Mooy – 5/10 – Some nice passing to keep Celtic ticking and pushing forward but began to tire after the interval.
DM: Matt O’Riley – 5/10 – On the wrong end of some poor refereeing decisions which hampered an otherwise solid display.
RM: Liel Abada – 6/10 – Got in behind Mendy a fair few times and did well to draw a penalty from the Frenchman.
AM: Reo Hatate – 6/10 – Linked midfield and attack very impressively. A good showing on a huge stage.
LM: Daizen Maeda – 6/10 – Played some excellent balls into Kyogo and can consider himself unfortunate not to walk away with at least one assist.
ST: Kyogo Furuhashi – 5/10 – Got in some nice positions but just couldn’t find his finishing touch.
SUB: Georgios Giakoumakis (63′ for Kyogo) – 5/10 – A threat on the rare occasions he got involved.
SUB: David Turnbull (63′ for Mooy) – 5/10 – Couldn’t keep up with Real’s midfield but there’s no shame in that.
SUB: Jota (63′ for Maeda) – 6/10 – An obvious threat on the ball but didn’t get many chances to strut his stuff. An excellent free-kick.
SUB: Sead Haksabanovic (63′ for Abada) – 5/10 – Felt like he didn’t get enough time to get involved. Came on when the game was already done.
SUB: Oliver Abildgaard (82′ for Hatate) – N/A
Manager: Ange Postecoglou – 5/10 – Can’t really fault much from the boss, whose ambitious approach should have yielded a goal or two early on. Probably should’ve slowed things down when they started to get ugly. Perhaps a little naïve but why not try and make something special happen?