NEWS
Wednesday April 2 2014
Madrid comfortable in Dortmund win

Cristiano Ronaldo scored a record-equalling goal as Real Madrid dispatched Borussia Dortmund 3-0 in their Champions League quarter-final.

Gareth Bale and Isco gave Madrid a comfortable lead at half-time, Bale netting first time Madrid ventured into the Dortmund penalty area, his quick feet leaving Roman Weidenfeller unable to keep the ball out.

Isco made it two partway after he produced an accurate effort to curl the ball inside Weidenfeller’s post from fractionally outside the 18-yard box.

Luka Modric fed Ronaldo for Madrid’s third after regaining possession in a dangerous area, allowing the Portuguese to match the record set by Lionel Messi for goals in a Champions League season. The goal also took Ronaldo level with Alfredo Di Stefano on 49 European goals for Madrid.

Carlo Ancelotti was deprived of Angel Di Maria only a few hours before kick-off and called Isco in his place, with Fabio Coentrao replacing the hamstrung Marcelo and Iker Casillas taking the gloves from Diego Lopez.

Dortmund were without a host of players from the side that beat Madrid in the semi-final last year, through a combination of sales, suspensions and injuries. Nuri Sahin, on loan from Madrid, started for Dortmund in midfield. Sebastian Kehl, booked for a challenge on Gareth Bale, will miss the second leg.

Madrid went in front with the first real attack of the game, Bale poking past Weidenfeller after Karim Benzema and Dani Carvajal combined on the right. Cristiano Ronaldo twice went close in the following minutes, first with a driven effort that Weidenfeller just about dealt with, then a swerving, dipping free-kick that had to be tipped over the crossbar.

Sahin had Dortmund’s first notable attempt on goal but minutes later Isco stroked the ball past the despairing Weidenfeller from the edge of the penalty area. Bale very nearly made it three shortly after with a free-kick reminiscent of Ronaldo’s earlier effort in both shot and save.

Kevin Grosskreutz drew a save from Casillas just past the half-hour mark as Dortmund showed signs of life and the Bundesliga side may have felt aggrieved not to be given a penalty after a foul by Pepe but the scoreline was a fair reflection of Madrid’s dominance of the opening half.

Bale and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang each had early efforts after the interval but it was Dortmund doing most of the running as they searched for a way back into the game. Henrikh Mkhitaryan passed up arguably the best chance to get a goal back with Dortmund only getting a corner to show for a lightning break.

Dortmund’s response was soon for naught when Modric nicked the ball in midfield and played in Ronaldo for his 14th Champions League goal in eight appearances this season.

Ronaldo was later replaced after consultation with the Madrid physios but, encouragingly for the title challengers, he left the field under his own power and didn’t appear in enormous discomfort with his troublesome knee complaint.

Jurgen Klopp rang the changes as Dortmund pushed for the away goal that might salvage the tie with a series of attacking substitutions but it never came. Casillas made a smart save from one effort but it wouldn’t have counted even if the goalkeeper had been beaten after referee Mark Clattenburg spotted a handball.

Madrid had about as many chances for a fourth goal as Dortmund did to get one back, including one Bale slalom run, and without an away goal, Dortmund face an uphill battle to reach the semi-finals. Madrid though are 90 minutes away from a fourth-straight semi-final berth.

Real Madrid 3-0 Borussia Dortmund

Bale 3, Isco 27, Ronaldo 57 (RM)

Madrid: Casillas, Carvajal, Pepe, Ramos, Coentrao; Alonso, Modric, Isco (Illaramendi 72); Bale, Benzema (Morata 75), Ronaldo (Casemiro 80)

Dortmund: Weidenfeller, Pisczcek (Schieber 67), Sokratis, Hummels, Durm; Sahin, Kehl (Jojic 74); Reus, Mkhitaryan (Hofmann 64), Grosskreutz; Aubameyang

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