Real Madrid cantered into
the quarter-finals of the Champions League when thoroughbred
forward Cristiano Ronaldo netted twice in a 4-1 win at home to
CSKA Moscow on Wednesday that put the La Liga leaders through
5-2 on aggregate.
Gonzalo Higuain and substitute Karim Benzema also found the
net as Jose Mourinho's side, chasing Real's first continental
crown since 2002 and 10th European Cup, secured their place in
Friday's draw for the last eight.
On a balmy night in the Spanish capital, Real took a
deserved lead in the 26th minute when Sami Khedira sent Kaka
clear on the left and the Brazilian crossed for Higuain to poke
the ball into the net.
They doubled their advantage 10 minutes into the second half
after goalkeeper Sergei Chepchugov could only divert Ronaldo's
long-range strike on to a post and in and Benzema followed up
his own shot to bag Real's third in the 70th minute, moments
after coming off the bench.
Zoran Tosic rewarded the travelling CSKA fans with a goal 13
minutes from time when he rounded Pepe and lashed the ball high
past Iker Casillas from just outside the area, prompting a
furious reaction from Mourinho on the side of the pitch.
France striker Benzema, returning from a brief injury
layoff, then unselfishly set up Ronaldo, who scored in the 1-1
draw in freezing Moscow in last month's first leg, to tap in his
second and Real's fourth in stoppage-time.
It was the Portuguese international's 11th goal in his last
seven appearances for Real and his 42nd of the campaign in all
"It wasn't spectacular but it was a mature display,"
Mourinho said at a news conference.
"Without doing anything out of this world we managed to
dominate and the game was mostly played out in their half," the
CSKA made a bright start to the game and should have taken
the lead in the eighth minute when Seydou Doumbia sped clear but
the Ivory Coast forward blasted a wild shot over the crossbar.
The home side gradually seized control and came close to a
second shortly before half-time when Higuain just failed to get
on the end of another low Kaka centre.
Chepchugov had to be alert to block a Ronaldo effort
immediately after the break before Real midfielder Xabi Alonso
picked up a booking that will keep him out of the first leg of
CSKA occasionally looked dangerous on the break and tested
Casillas several times with long-range efforts but never looked
capable of producing an upset against the Spaniards, who are now
unbeaten in the 18 Champions League matches they have played
against foreign teams the past two seasons.
The only team to beat them in Europe's elite club
competition during that period were their great local rivals and
European champions Barcelona in last season's semi-finals.
"To obtain a result here we had to play our best game and
make no mistakes," CSKA coach Leonid Slutski told a news
"We contained them in the first half but we made mistakes
and gave them the chance to attack us."
Real join Barca, AC Milan, APOEL Nicosia, Bayern Munich,
Benfica, Chelsea and Olympique Marseille in Friday's draw.
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