Football: Real Madrid take top spot by thwarting three-goal Shakhtar rally

Real Madrid's Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo (right) celebrates after scoring.
Real Madrid's Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo (right) celebrates after scoring.AFP

LVIV, Ukraine (REUTERS) - Real Madrid, who had already sealed a place in the last 16 of the Champions League, ensured top spot in Group A with a remarkable 4-3 win over Shakhtar Donetsk on Wednesday.

Cristiano Ronaldo scored after 18 and 70 minutes while Luka Modric (50) and Dani Carvajal (52) also struck to put the 10-times European champions in complete command on a freezing night in western Ukraine.

The temperature then soared quickly, on the field at least, as Shakhtar netted three times in the closing stages.

Brazilian midfielder Alex Teixeira converted a penalty after 77 minutes before Dentinho chested the ball into the net from a corner.

Teixeira was again on target with two minutes remaining as the hosts gave Real a huge fright.

Real have 13 points from five matches, three ahead of Paris St Germain who also qualified by beating Malmo 5-0 in Sweden.

PSG are sure to finish second because they have an inferior head to head record against Real.

Shakhtar and Malmo both have three points.