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Champions League PIX: Ronaldo leads Real into last eight

Last updated on: March 09, 2016 09:17 IST
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Cristiano Ronaldo

IMAGE: Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates after scoring the opening goal during the UEFA Champions League match against AS Roma at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on Tuesday. Photograph: Denis Doyle/Getty Images.

Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo was the scourge of AS Roma again as he inspired the hosts to a 2-0 win and a place in the Champions League quarter-finals on Tuesday, scoring and setting up a goal Rodriguez to seal a 4-0 aggregate victory.

The Portugal forward, top scorer in the competition this season with 13 goals, netted for the sixth time in three games in all competitions by finishing off substitute Lucas Vazquez’s cross at the near post after 64 minutes.

Four minutes later Ronaldo, who put Real on the way to a 2-0 win in the first leg of the last-16 tie with a stunning strike, released Rodriguez with a delicate pass and the Colombia forward prodded the ball between the legs of keeper Wojciech Szczesny.

"It was a difficult game even though some people didn’t expect it would be, but in the end we achieved our objective, which was to go through, and we didn’t concede a goal,” Real coach Zinedine Zidane said.

 James Rodriguez

IMAGE: Real Madrid's James Rodriguez celebrates. Photograph: Denis Doyle/Getty Images.

Real's Keylor Navas kept his sixth straight Champions League clean sheet to move ahead of former Manchester United stopper Edwin van der Sar with the second-longest run in the competition without conceding a goal and is now unbeaten in 540 minutes.

Roma coach Luciano Spalletti said before the game that he was "asking for the impossible" from his side as they looked to overturn the deficit surrendered at the Olympic Stadium, but they had two clear chances to take the lead before the break.

Edin Dzeko and Mohamed Salah were each through on goal but shot wide of the near post. In the second half, Navas rushed out to deny Roma defender Kostas Manolas and then went flying to his right to claw away a stinging low strike by Diego Perotti.

Luka Modric

IMAGE: Real Madrid's Luka Modric tackles Roma's Diego Perotti . Photograph: Denis Doyle/Getty Images.

“We had our chances and we had to score them. If we had it would have changed our mentality and the game,” Roma coach Luciano Spalletti said.

"We have thrown away a great chance because Madrid are not in great form, their football is not irresistible.”

Real's Costa Rica keeper Navas has yet to let in a goal in this season’s Champions League and only trails German Jens Lehmann, who went 853 minutes in Europe's elite club competition without conceding for Arsenal.

Roma's Egypt forward Salah missed another chance at the near post in the second period while the game was still goalless, but Ronaldo showed no such mercy at the other end.

The 31-year-old, who scored four times in the second half on Saturday in a 7-1 La Liga mauling of Celta Vigo, fired past a helpless Szczesny after an excellent piece of skill and cross by Vazquez, before teeing up Rodriguez to finish off the Italians.

Schuerrle leads Wolfsburg into quarter-finals

Andre Schuerrle

IMAGE: VfL Wolfsburg's Andre Schuerrle (right, top) celebrates with team mates after scoring a goal. Photograph: Fabian Bimmer/Reuters.

A second-half goal from Andre Schuerrle helped VfL Wolfsburg beat Gent 1-0 to reach the Champions League quarter-finals for the first time with a 4-2 aggregate victory.

Forward Schuerrle, making a rare start, fired the ball in from a Julian Draxler cut-back in the 74th minute to give his side a second straight triumph over the Belgians.

Germany's 2014 World Cup winner has struggled since joining Wolfsburg from Chelsea in a big-money move in 2015 but he was in the right place at the right time against Gent.

"This is a great win for us," Schuerrle told reporters. "I knew my time would come at some point.

"It was a tough match. We wanted to defend well and wait for our chances. In the end the win was deserved."

Both teams were making their debuts in the knockout stages and Wolfsburg's three goals in the first leg gave Dieter Hecking's team a major advantage going into the return match.

Gent tried hard to unsettle the hosts but the German side were resolute in defence and superior all round.

"This is sensational for the club," said Wolfsburg sports director Klaus Allofs. "At the start of the season we never believed we could have such success."

Wolfsburg, who have won their last four Champions League matches and their last two games in the Bundesliga, tried to get an early goal with Schuerrle going desperately close in the opening minutes.
Max Kruse also did well to control a Schuerrle cross before turning and firing narrowly wide as the home team remained in the driving seat.

Gent keeper Matz Sels then parried a right-foot missile from Joshua Guilavogui in the 18th minute.

The visitors made a rare foray forward on the hour as Danijel Milicevic spurned their best chance when his diving header was off target.

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Source: REUTERS
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