Real ease into Champions League quarters

Real Madrid reach last eight for first time in seven years with easy win over Lyon as Chelsea hold off Copenhagen.

Angel di Maria
Real’s Marcelo ensures his side get the best possible start with his 37th minute goal [GALLO/GETTY]

A dominant performance by Jose Mourinho’s Real Madrid ensured the Spanish side reached the Champions League quarters for the first time in seven years on Wednesday, beating Lyon 3-0.

Real eased through 4-1 on aggregate, reaching the final stages for the first time since losing in the 2004 semi-finals to Monaco.

English champions Chelsea also moved into the last eight with an unremarkable 0-0 home draw against FC Copenhagen to complete a 2-0 aggregate victory.

The Londoners, bidding to make the semi-finals for the sixth time in eight years, completed a hat-trick of successes for English Premier League clubs as they join Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United in Friday’s quarter-final draw.

Solid win

Goals from Marcelo, Lyon old boy Karim Benzema and Angel di Maria secured victory as Real moved into the knockout phase at the Bernabeu Stadium.

Mourinho, who won the trophy with Inter Milan at the Santiago Bernabeu last season, is looking to provide Real with their 10th European Cup and make history by becoming the first manager to win the Champions League with three different clubs.

Lyon had never lost in their three Champions League trips to the Bernabeu but the French visitors knew they would have to score in the Spanish capital after the 1-1 draw in the first leg.

Star striker Ronaldo, making a welcome return from injury, tried his luck with a long range free-kick early on but his effort sailed over the crossbar.

With four minutes gone Real almost scored but goalkeeper Hugo Lloris raced out to thwart German international Mesut Ozil, who had timed his run to perfection.

On 21 minutes Real got a real scare when Argentine Cesar Delgado curled a shot towards the bottom-right corner but goalkeeper Iker Casillas got down to palm away.

Real responded by upping their game and took the lead on 37 minutes thanks to a fine individual goal from Marcelo.

The Brazilian exchanged passes with Ronaldo before surging into the area, cutting back onto his left foot and firing in a shot that deflected off Lloris on its way in.

The relief was tangible and Benzema, in fine form with six goals in his last three league outings, was denied by Lloris four minutes later after latching onto a Marcelo cross.

Benzema had the ball in the net 60 seconds later with a fine header but was flagged offside.

He had a penalty appeal turned down on 63 minutes but shrugged off the disappointment to score three minutes later.


Tuesday March 15

undefined Bayern 2-3 Inter Milan
undefined Man Utd 2-1 Marseille

Wednesday March 16

 Chelsea 0-0 Copenhagen
 Real Madrid 3-0 Lyon

A defensive mix-up allowed Benzema a free run on goal and the Frenchman slotted home for his sixth goal in the competition this term.

Lyon sensed the game was up and winger di Maria went clean through on goal in the 76th minute before producing a neat chipped finish to complete the scoring.

In control

Chelsea, in command of the tie following Nicolas Anelka’s two goals in the first leg, created a dozen half-chances but their finishing lacked precision and visiting keeper Johan Wiland was forced into only regulation saves.

Didier Drogba and Nicolas Anelka, starting up front together with Fernando Torres on the bench, wasted Chelsea’s best chances in a fairly one-sided match, while John Obi Mikel headed against the crossbar in the second half.

Copenhagen threatened sporadically, although Dame N’Doye hit the post with a first-half free kick.

Coach Carlo Ancelotti introduced Fernando Torres for Anelka after 67 minutes and though the Spaniard unleashed two sharp shots, he ended his sixth game for his new club still seeking his first goal.

Source: News Agencies

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