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

Wednesday.

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

later.

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

goal.

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

to beat.

”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

18th.

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

Pontus Wernbloom.

”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.

Paul Logothetis can be reached at:

www.twitter.com/PaulLogoAP