MADRID - 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.
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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
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.
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"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."
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.
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."
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