Madrid into quarterfinals after 4-1 win over CSKA
Jose Mourinho guided Real Madrid into the Champions League
quarterfinals for the second straight season after Cristiano
Ronaldo scored twice in a 4-1 victory over CSKA Moscow on
Following a 1-1 draw in the first leg, Madrid took a 26th-minute
lead when Sami Khedira’s brilliant no-look cross to Kaka led to
Gonzalo Higuain’s opening goal.
CSKA goalkeeper Sergei Chepchugov gifted Madrid the second goal
when he fumbled Ronaldo’s long-range shot in the 55th.
Karim Benzema poked home the rebound from his own shot in the
70th, only for Zoran Tosic to score from long range seven minutes
Ronaldo ensured a 5-2 aggregate victory on the last move of the
game at Santiago Bernabeu stadium, giving the Portugal forward his
42nd goal of the season and his sixth in the competition.
”We played a mature match. It wasn’t anything out of this
world,” Mourinho said. ”We’re in the quarterfinals which is the
most important thing.”
Madrid, the record nine-time champion, had failed to progress
past the last 16 in the six previous seasons before Mourinho’s
arrival. Last year, the Champions League winner with FC Porto in
2004 and Inter Milan in 2010 took Madrid to the semifinals.
Madrid’s victory came at a cost with midfielder Xabi Alonso out
of the next match after being booked just before Ronaldo’s first
CSKA could have caused Madrid more trouble if it had converted
what proved to be its clearest opportunity. The hosts’ defense
slackened in the eighth minute to allow Alan Dzagoev to find Seydou
Doumbia, but he shot well over with only goalkeeper Iker Casillas
”You have to play a near perfect game against them, they
punished you for any errors,” CSKA coach Leonid Slutski said
through a translator. ”If only we would have made less errors than
we might have had a chance to surprise.”
Mesut Oezil and Kaka orchestrated most of the best scoring
opportunities but, apart from an attempt from Ronaldo, Madrid’s
superiority was initially confined to dominating possession with
few shots on goal.
Doumbia threatened again in the 13th, but Madrid began to take
command with Oezil having an penalty appeal denied moments later
and Kaka firing wide after latching onto a loose ball in the
Oezil found Khedira at the far edge of the area, the Germany
international retreated before sending a no-look cross back into
the area for Kaka to slip a pass and allow Higuain to score his
third goal of the tournament. A frustrated Mourinho pleaded with
his players to pick up their form, and they soon responded.
Vasili Berezutski was lucky to escape with only a yellow card in
the 32nd after taking Ronaldo down despite appearing to be the last
defender. Ronaldo persisted, and Chepchugov did well to cut off the
angle and deny him from close range in the 49th.
Not long after, Alonso received a booking for a poor tackle on
”Xabi is fundamental for us but no one is indispensable,”
Madrid defender Sergio Ramos said. ”We’ll miss him, but there are
teammates who can fill in for him who will be ready.”
But the goalkeeper let Ronaldo’s long-range shot slip off his
gloves, putting the Russians in a big hole.
Doumbia missed another great opportunity before Benzema made an
immediate impact after replacing Higuain, beating the offside trap
to reach Oezil’s pass inside the area and toe-poking his fifth goal
of the competition.
Mourinho didn’t look impressed when Alan Dzagoev sent Tosic into
space outside the area, the Serbian midfielder finding Pepe out of
position to beat Casillas with a rising shot that came off the
underside of the crossbar.
Madrid weathered the pressure from CSKA before an unmarked
Benzema centered for Ronaldo to tap the ball into an empty net for
his 10th goal in seven games.
Madrid is joined by defending champion Barcelona, AC Milan,
Bayern Munich, Marseille, Benfica, Chelsea and APOEL in the last
eight. The quarterfinal draw will take place on Friday.
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