Fri, Mar 18, 2011 - Page 20 News List

Real break hoodoo, Chelsea finish job

DANES OUT:Real Madrid avenged their defeat by Lyon at the same stage of last year’s Champions League, while Chelsea largely dominated against FC Copehagen

AFP, PARIS

Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema, right, and Olympique Lyon defender Cris fight for the ball during their Champions League match on Wednesday in Madrid.

Photo: EPA

Real Madrid ended a seven-year wait to reach the Champions League quarter-finals by beating Lyon 3-0 on Wednesday, while Chelsea drew 0-0 with FC Copenhagen to seal their progress.

Nine-time champions Real, eliminated at the last 16 stage for the last six seasons in a row, prevailed through goals from Marcelo, Lyon old boy Karim Benzema and Angel di Maria for a 4-1 aggregate success.

“The bad run had to end sometime and it did tonight,” Real coach Jose Mourinho said. “We won both games and deserved to go through as we were the better side.”

With Benzema’s goal in the first leg having secured a 1-1 draw, Real took the lead in the 37th minute when leftback Marcelo skipped through the Lyon defense to score.

Benzema and Di Maria capitalized on hesitancy in the visiting back four in the second half to complete the victory.

Leading 2-0 from the first leg, Chelsea kicked off their game at Stamford Bridge within touching distance of the last eight, but received a shock when Copenhagen forward Dame N’Doye curled a free-kick against the woodwork.

The English champions largely dominated the encounter, however, and came closest to a winning goal in the second period when John Obi Mikel headed against the crossbar from a Nicolas Anelka flick-on.

Real and Chelsea will discover the identities of their quarter-final opponents when the draw for the last eight is made today.

Lyon found themselves quickly under pressure at the Bernabeu, with goalkeeper Hugo Lloris racing from his line to deny Mesut Ozil in the fourth minute and then saving at his near post from Marcelo.

Cesar Delgado tested Iker Casillas with a low, curling strike at the other end but eight minutes before half-time the hosts scored.

Marcelo scurried infield from the left flank and exchanged passes with Cristiano Ronaldo before cutting inside Cris, darting past Dejan Lovren and beating Lloris.

Real continued to dominate in the second half, but Mourinho’s men had to wait until the 66th minute for their second goal.

A long ball from Marcelo was allowed to bounce behind the Lyon centerbacks and Benzema pounced to slot the ball beneath Lloris.

Di Maria added a third with 14 minutes to play, gliding onto Ozil’s flick and lifting the ball over Lloris, as Real avenged their elimination by Lyon at the same stage of last season’s competition.

At Chelsea, the hosts saw Frank Lampard, Ashley Cole, Yuri Zhirkov and Anelka threaten in the early stages.

After spending 25 minutes penned into their own half, Copenhagen came agonizingly close to taking a shock lead when N’Doye’s whipped freekick caught Petr Cech moving the wrong way and cannoned to safety off the left-hand post.

Zhirkov miscued from close range and Didier Drogba volleyed wide, before Chelsea’s best chance saw Mikel hit the crossbar.

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