Madrid rolls on Mourinho's return

BY foxsports • October 18, 2011

Karim Benzema scored one goal and made two more against his former club as Real Madrid claimed a third straight Champions League win with a 4-0 home victory against Lyon on Tuesday.

Benzema tapped home the opening goal after Cristiano Ronaldo flicked on a corner in the 19th minute and provided assists for Sami Khedira in the 47th and Mesut Oezil's effort that went in via goalkeeper Hugo Lloris in the 55th.

Sergio Ramos volleyed the fourth goal in the 81st.

Benzema scored in both legs of Madrid's win over Lyon in the knockout stage last season and justified his selection ahead of in-form Argentine teammate Gonzalo Higuain, who had scored two consecutive hat tricks for Madrid in the Spanish league.

''Let the debate continue. Now the debate will be trying to work out why I picked Benzema instead of Higuain,'' said a smiling Mourinho, who returned to the bench after a touchline ban and looked calm but combative in his post-match news conference.

The win moved Madrid five points clear of Ajax and Lyon at the top of Group D after three matches and led Lyon coach Remi Garde to suggest the Merengues were early favorites for the title.

''I don't see Real Madrid as favorites,'' countered Mourinho. ''I thank him for his words, because it means Real Madrid has played well and beaten a good opponent, but I don't see us as favorites.''

Lyon showed only rare glimpses of attacking intent at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium and Madrid enjoyed almost total control of possession.

''We respected our opponent too much tonight,'' said Garde. ''We got too engaged with the aggression and physical engagement. We have to turn the page quickly in time for the matches that are coming up.''

Ronaldo produced the first serious threat with a 30-yard (meter) shot that Lloris did well to beat away in the seventh minute.

The Portugal forward was orchestrating most of Madrid's more incisive moves and he was instrumental in the opening goal, flicking on Oezil's corner to give Benzema the simplest of finishes at the back post.

''I'm happy. I've recovered well physically and I felt good during the game,'' said Benzema, who was returning from a groin injury. ''When you press teams, it's difficult for them. I showed I was hungry tonight.''

Madrid camped in Lyon's half and Marcelo's overlapping runs down the left proved a constant source of danger, while Xabi Alonso's raking passes kept the visiting defense on the back foot.

There were flashes of danger from Lyon's pacy forwards, with Brazilian winger Michel Bastos providing a cross that Jimmy Briand headed just wide in the ninth.

Briand shot wide again in the 26th and striker Bafetimbi Gomis had the ball in the net two minutes later only to have his joy curtailed by the offside flag.

Madrid also had a goal chalked off when Alonso was shown a yellow card for taking a free kick before the referee's whistle to deny Benzema a second goal in the 40th.

Lloris was forced to make a flying save from the retaken kick to stop Oezil's effort nestling in the bottom corner.

Mourinho couldn't help using the incident to reference the alleged bias he claims to see against his team.

''At this moment, there are teams that can score goals from quick free kicks, but they don't let us,'' he said. ''The yellow card for Xabi (Alonso) should provoke a debate. I don't understand it.''

Madrid turned the screw in the second half as Benzema took advantage of a slip by Bakary Kone to advance into the box and slip a pass inside for Khedira to score.

''Logic was respected, even if you always try to get something out of the game,'' said Garde. ''At 1-0 it was still possible, but the second goal at the beginning of the second half cut our legs off.''

Oezil, Marcelo and Benzema interchanged passes to unlock the Lyon defense again eight minutes later, with the German's attempted cutback ricocheting off Lloris and into the net for an own goal.

Ramos got the fourth goal after his initial header from substitute Kaka's corner fell back to him for a firm volley into the far corner.

Ronaldo's endeavor deserved a reward, but when he finally forced a shot past Lloris, the referee disallowed the third goal of the match for a dubious offside call against Kaka.

Ronaldo's frustration led to a yellow card for a petulant challenge deep in the opposition half, which Mourinho acknowledged was disappointing.

''It's a foul in the final minutes,'' the Madrid coach said with a shrug. ''But UEFA can be calm. We know in the later stages we can't clean off the cards. Other teams can, but we can't.''

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Lineups:

Real Madrid: Iker Casillas, Pepe, Sergio Ramos, Sami Khedira (Fabio Coentrao 61), Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema (Gonzalo Higuain 72), Mesut Oezil (Kaka 66), Marcelo, Xabi Alonso, Alvaro Arbeloa, Angel Di Maria.

Lyon: Hugo Lloris, Bakary Kone, Dejan Lovren, Kim Kallstrom, Yoann Gourcuff (Ederson 66), Michel Bastos, Anthony Reveillere, Gueida Fofana, Bafetimbi Gomis (Mouhamadou Dabo 80), Jimmy Briand, Aly Cissokho.


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