Champions League

Real run riot in the rain

2014-04-02 22:51
Isco (AFP)

Madrid - Real Madrid have planted one foot firmly in the Champions League semi-finals with an emphatic 3-0 win over Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday as Cristiano Ronaldo equalled the record for most goals in the tournament in one season.

Gareth Bale poked the ball into the net in the third minute of the quarter-final first leg at the Bernabeu to put a dominant Real ahead and Isco curled in a second in the 27th.

Ronaldo notched his 14th goal in eight Champions League games this season 12 minutes after halftime, matching a record set by Barcelona's Lionel Messi in 2011-12, as the nine-times winners opened a big lead going into the second leg on Tuesday.

It was the Portugal forward's 100th Champions League appearance and the goal, when he picked up a Luka Modric pass and clipped the ball into the net from close range, took his overall tally to 64.

Dortmund, who knocked Real out in the semi-finals last season, immediately went on the attack but were rocked back when Dani Carvajal found space in the area and slipped a pass to Bale.

The Wales winger took one touch and then did well to stretch out a leg and poke the ball past onrushing Dortmund goalkeeper Roman Weidenfeller into an empty net.

Buoyed by the goal, the home side started to dominate and Weidenfeller pulled off an acrobatic save to keep out a Ronaldo free kick in the 12th minute before Isco struck.

Xabi Alonso intercepted the ball near the Dortmund penalty area and when it fell to Isco he sent a low curling effort just inside the post.

Weidenfeller was tested again when Bale arrowed a free kick towards the top corner and Dortmund's woes mounted when captain Sebastian Kehl picked up a yellow card and a suspension for the return leg.

The rain began pouring down at halftime and Dortmund started the second half brightly, almost scoring after a swift break in the 55th.

However, another sloppy pass out of defence led to Real's third and when Modric fed Ronaldo and he showed fancy footwork before beating a stranded Weidenfeller.

Ronaldo has not always received unconditional adoration from the Real faithful since joining in 2009 but he was given a rousing ovation when he apparently picked up an injury and was substituted 10 minutes from time.

Missing striker Robert Lewandowski and a host of injured players, Dortmund were comprehensively outplayed and came closest to a goal just before the hour when centre back Pepe blocked a close-range Henrikh Mkhitaryan effort.

Chasing a record-extending 10th continental crown, Real are through to the Champions League last eight for a fourth consecutive season and have reached the semi-finals in the last three seasons.

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16 September 2014
Liverpool v Ludogorets Razgrad, Anfield 20:45
Benfica v Zenit St Petersburg, Estadio da Luz 20:45
Juventus v Malmö FF, Juventus Stadium 20:45
Olympiakos v Atlético de Madrid, Karaiskaki Stadium 20:45
Real Madrid v FC Basel, Santiago Bernabéu 20:45
Borussia Dortmund v Arsenal, Signal Iduna Park 20:45
Monaco v Bayer 04 Leverkusen, Stade Louis II 20:45
Galatasaray v RSC Anderlecht, Türk Telekom Arena 20:45
17 September 2014
FC Bayern München v Manchester City, Allianz Arena 20:45
Ajax v Paris Saint Germain, Amsterdam ArenA 20:45
Barcelona v Apoel Nicosia, Camp Nou 20:45
FC Porto v BATE Borisov, Estadio do Dragao 20:45
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Roma v CSKA Moscow, Olimpico 20:45
Athletic Club v Shakhtar Donetsk, San Mamés 20:45
Chelsea v FC Schalke 04, Stamford Bridge 20:45
30 September 2014
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BATE Borisov v Athletic Club, Borisov Arena 20:45
Shakhtar Donetsk v FC Porto, Donbass Arena 20:45
Sporting Lisbon v Chelsea, Estadio José Alvalade 20:45
Manchester City v Roma, Etihad Stadium 20:45
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