Champions League - Real down bogey side Lyon

Wed, 16 Mar 21:43:00 2011

Nine-times European champions Real Madrid booked a place in the quarter-finals of the Champions League with a 3-0 win over bogey side Lyon at the Bernabeu and a 4-1 aggregate victory.

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Full-back Marcelo, red-hot Karim Benzema and Angel Di Maria were on the scoresheet as Jose Mourinho's side finally beat the French club at the eighth time of asking to ensure their name will be in the hat for Friday's draw.

Heading into the game, Lyon had won three and drawn four of the two sides' previous meetings but a vibrant Madrid team made light of that poor record to reach the last eight for the first time in seven years.

Cristiano Ronaldo returned to Madrid's line-up having missed the weekend's Liga win over Hercules and the Portuguese forward was to have a major influence on the game as his direct running, pace and skill caused headaches for the Lyon backline throughout.

His glanced header on 17 minutes brought Hugo Lloris into action before a rasping strike off the back of a beautiful cross-field pass by Mesut Ozil forced the Lyon keeper again to show his best form.

Unsurprisingly, Ronaldo was the architect of the opening goal as the outstanding Marcelo played a one-two with him before the Brazilian continued his run into the box, checked back inside Dejan Lovren and fired past Lloris.

It was a goal of real quality and one which highlighted the threat Marcelo poses going forward. Very much in the style of legendary Real left-back Roberto Carlos, the Brazilian was a constant menace down the left flank when on the front foot. He had already been denied by a smart Lloris save at the near post after just four minutes of play as Real set out their attacking stall early on in the game.

But Lyon too contributed to an open, free-flowing start to the game and the visitors, who had drawn their previous three trips to the Bernabeu, were, initially at least, by no means overawed by their fourth appearance at the imposing stadium.

Cesar Delgado tested Iker Casillas with a curler from the edge of the box on 21 minutes and, while that was as near as they came to grabbing a vital away goal during an entertaining opening period, some of the football they played was perhaps deserving of more.

But the goal took the wind out of the visitors' sails, and Real ended the half strongly with Benzema being denied by a wonderful save by the excellent Lloris after yet more good work on the left by Marcelo.

Benzema, a former Lyon favourite and scorer of Madrid's goal in the first leg, then saw a header chalked off for offside before he played several one-twos with Ozil to fashion a chance for the Germany midfielder, who saw his shot deflected behind for a corner.

Benzema did not have to wait for much longer before he netted against his former club again, the France international running on to a long Marcelo ball through and finishing under Lloris to register his ninth goal in seven games.

The goal filled Real with even more confidence and Lyon, crumpling under the pressure asserted by their hosts, were lucky not to go even further behind seconds later as Benzema's lashed effort was tipped over by Lloris.

With Real rampant, it was just a question of how many more they would score. In the end it was just one - Di Maria converting with a little dink over Lloris after having been played in on goal by Ozil's delightful flick - but it could have been more.

With seven minutes remaining Lovren slid the ball into his own net from Ozil's cross, but his blushes were spared by the assistant referee's flag, leaving Lyon to head home fortunate to have conceded just three.

Real join fellow Spanish side Barcelona, English trio Tottenham, Manchester United and Chelsea, Shakhtar Donetsk, Internazionale and Schalke in quarter-final draw, which takes place on Friday morning.

Mike Hytner / Eurosport

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