rediff.com

NewsApp (Free)

Read news as it happens
Download NewsApp

Available on  

Rediff News  All News 
Rediff.com  » Sports » Images: Mourinho's Real end six-year jinx

Images: Mourinho's Real end six-year jinx

Last updated on: March 17, 2011 10:08 IST

'Real Madrid is too big a club not to be in the quarters'

     Next

Next

Jose Mourinho broke Real Madrid's six-year Champions League jinx when his side crushed Olympique Lyon 3-0 on Wednesday to advance to the quarter-finals for the first time since 2004.

Marcelo, Karim Benzema and Angel Di Maria scored the goals at a packed and rowdy Bernabeu to put the record nine-times winners through 4-1 on aggregate.

Real's smooth passage into the last eight at the expense of the team that knocked them out last season will be seen as a personal triumph for their outspoken Portuguese coach and is his first meaningful contribution to the club since joining from Inter Milan.

Mourinho was hired after leading Inter to a treble of Italian league and cup and Champions League last term as Real's big-spending president Florentino Perez seeks the elusive "decima", a 10th title in Europe's elite club competition.

"I don't want to make a huge deal out of this match and this qualification," Mourinho said at a news conference.

"Real Madrid is too big a club not to be in the quarters," the former Chelsea manager added.

"We are on the right track, the titles will come, if not this season then next.

"I just work, I do my best. I feel comfortable, I feel happy and I think the players feel it," he added.


Image: Real Madrid's Di Maria celebrates after scoring against Lyon during their Champions League match
Photographs: Getty Images
     Next

Marcello struck the opener for Real

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

Real, whose last Champions League title came in 2002, had failed to beat Lyon in seven previous meetings in Europe.

They had the world's most expensive player, Cristiano Ronaldo, back from injury and the Portuguese tested Lyon goalkeeper Hugo Lloris with a flicked header and a fierce drive as the home side dominated the early stages.

Marcelo struck on 37 minutes when he dashed in from left, exchanged passes with Ronaldo and beat two defenders before firing in off goalkeeper Hugo Lloris's arm.

Benzema, a former Lyon player who scored Real's goal in the first leg, doubled their lead in the 66th when he raced clear and sent a low shot through the keeper's legs.

The France international, who has been coming back into form in recent weeks, blazed just over the bar two minutes later before Di Maria put the tie beyond the Ligue 1 club's reach with another breakaway goal 14 minutes from time.


Image: Real Madrid's Marcello celebrates after scoring during their Chmapions League match
Photographs: Getty Images
Prev     Next

Disappointing Lyon

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

The French side were ultimately disappointing but had some decent moments in the first half.

Cesar Delgado forced Iker Casillas into a save low to his left when he curled a shot from the edge of the penalty area in the 22nd minute.

With his side 1-0 down at the break, Lyon coach Claude Puel brought on Bafetimbi Gomis, scorer of their goal in the first leg, but the 2010 semi-finalists scarcely came close to troubling Casillas again.

Puel said his players had not been at their best and that the focus now would be on closing the four-point gap to Ligue 1 leaders Lille in the domestic championship.

"We gave them a bit too much ammunition and gave the ball away too easily," he said.

"We had the feeling of being able to achieve something but the second goal hurt us and it was game over. Bravo to Real because they deserved their victory," he added.


Image: Lyon's Lisandro in action during the Champions League match against Real Madrid
Photographs: Getty Images
Prev     Next

Distracted Chelsea ease into last eight

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

Chelsea, with one eye on Sunday's match against Manchester City, eased into the Champions League quarter-finals when a 0-0 draw with FC Copenhagen on Wednesday secured a commanding 2-0 aggregate win.

Such was Chelsea's confidence that the lead secured by Nicolas Anelka's two goals in the first leg would prove a safe enough cushion for coach Carlo Ancelotti to start with Fernando Torres, Michael Essien and Florent Malouda on the bench.

Torres came on for the last 23 minutes but after sending one shot fizzing past a post and another into the second tier of the stand, the Spaniard remained in search of his first goal after six matches for his new club.

It was all of little concern to Ancelotti, however, as his side stayed on course for the semi-finals for the sixth time in eight years after joining fellow Premier League sides Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United in Friday's draw.


Image: Chelsea's Dider Drogba argues with referee during the Champions League match
Photographs: Reuters
Prev     Next

Lacking intensity

Prev     More
Prev

More

Chelsea lacked intensity but always looked capable of upping the pace if they needed to and they almost had to when Dame N'Doye cracked a free kick against a post in the visitors' only worthwhile goal attempt.

"The performance was good, we didn't want to take a risk, we had good control of the game defensively," Ancelotti told reporters.

"We had 24 shots and we could have been more precise up front but that's a small detail."

Chelsea set about their task with the zeal of a team who knew the tie was as good as over and with the quiet home fans in a less-than-full Stamford Bridge acquiescing it was left to the noisy visiting supporters, chanting in perfect English, to provide the atmosphere.

When they did move out of second gear with some nicely-built moves down the left, their finishing let them down as Frank Lampard, Yuri Zhirkov, Anelka and Didier Drogba all failed to take advantage of decent positions.


Image: Chelsea's Fernando Torres walks in as Anelka walks out of the pitch during their Champions League match
Photographs: Reuters
Prev     More
Source:
© Copyright 2013 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters. Reuters shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.