Benzema scores 70th UCL goal

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REAL Madrid defeated Atalanta 3-1 on Tuesday to return to the Champions League quarterfinals after two consecutive eliminations in the last 16.

  Madrid advanced 4-1 on aggregate after Karim Benzema led the way to victory in the first half following a blunder by Atalanta goalkeeper, Marco Sportiello, one of the squad changes made by coach Gian Piero Gasperini from the 1-0 first-leg loss in Italy.

  Captain Sergio Ramos and Marco Asensio sealed Madrid’s victory by scoring a goal each in the second half. Atalanta’s lone goal came with a free kick converted by Luis Muriel late in the game.

  Sportiello tried to play from his area but misplayed his shot and the ball went directly to Luka Modric, who entered the box and made a low pass for an easy goal by Benzema from near the penalty spot in the 34th minute. Sportiello replaced Pierluigi Gollini after the first leg and had been starting in Serie A since then.

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  It was the 70th Champions League goal for Benzema, making him only the fifth player to reach the mark in the competition after Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Robert Lewandowski and Raul Gonzalez. Only Ronaldo, Messi and Lewandowski reached the milestone quicker than the French striker’s 126 matches.

  Atalanta was looking to make it to the last eight for the second straight time after a remarkable run in its debut season in the top European club competition. It had won all of its away games in the Champions League this season, including against Liverpool and Ajax.

  Spanish FA sign 22-page document calling for resignation of La Liga chief. Spanish FA have requested that the process to remove La Liga president Javier Tebas from his position be started.

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  Elvira Andrés Monte, vice president of the Spanish FA, and Pedro González, the head of the legal department, signed a 22-page document outlining why they believed Tebas should be removed from his position.

  The request stems from allegations about the personal involvement of Tebas with Fuenlabrada, as his son was also on the board of directors at the Segunda club.

  The allegations claim that Tebas therefore has a conflict between personal and professional interests for Fuenla and at Granada.

  That is because of the presence of Javier Aranguren at Granada – the manager of two companies of which the sole administrator is the son of Tebas.As per Marca last summer, Deportivo La Coruna asked the High Council for Sports (CSD) to suspend Tebas from his position and calling for action on the irregularities and infractions of the league chief.

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  Depor have once again questioned the role of La Liga’s chief in their relegation, questioning why the entire final round of Segunda fixtures was not postponed when their clash against Fuenlabrada was called off.They once again have said that the integrity of the competition was compromised, as both Depor – who did not play on the same night – and Numancia were relegated as Lugo and Albacete both recorded victories.

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