Champions League Quarter Final, First Leg
Real Madrid 4-0 Tottenham Hotspur
An Emmanuel Adebayor double, and a goal apiece from Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo saw Real Madrid run out 4-0 winners against 10-man Tottenham Hotspur at the Bernabeu tonight, the visitors playing for 75 minutes with a man less after the dismissal of England international striker Peter Crouch.
Adebayor, the former Arsenal striker currently on-loan at Los Blancos from Manchester City, out-jumped Jermaine Jenas, who replaced Aaron Lennon on the Spurs teamsheet moments before kick-off, to head Real in front after only four minutes.
Ten minutes later Spurs task was made even harder when Crouch picked up a second yellow card for a foul on Marcelo and was shown his marching orders.
The red card sent Spurs onto the defensive, and lining up with two banks of four and just Rafael van der Vaart as the furthest man forward, Harry Redknapp’s side were unable to make any sort of advancement out of their own half as their hosts took complete control of the match.
Ronaldo, Di Maria and the impish Mesut Ozil were popping up all over the pitch and causing problems, whilst Xabi Alonso, the former Liverpool playmaker, was dictating the tempo of the game.
In the first period Spurs, Michael Dawson in particular defended manfully, keeping the scoreling down to just the single goal. However, in the second half, Mourinho’s side wore them down and gradually turned their dominance into goals.
In the 53rd minute Adebayor scored his second, meeting Marcelo’s cross when unmarked and looping his header over a helpless Gomes.
Madrid were in buoyant mood and looked as though they wanted to take out their frustration from the weekend, when they were surprisingly beaten by Sporting Gijon, on Spurs, as they continued to fire shots in on the Brazilian ‘keeper’s goal.
Eventually a third was brilliantly added by Angel Di Maria, the Argentine winger, whose curling left-foot shot found the top corner, before a late cross from Brazilian substitute Kaka was volleyed past Gomes by Ronaldo for number four, and the goal which looks to have all but ended Spurs Champions League dream.
Internazionale 2-5 Schalke 04
A defensive nightmare from holders Inter saw them hammered in the San Siro by Ralf Rangnick’s Schalke – Rangnick having recently replaced the ousted Felix Magath – and the German side will feel they’ve all but booked their place into the last four, where they’ll meet either Manchester United or Chelsea.
Things had started well for Inter, who took the lead after only 25 seconds thanks to a stunning goal from Dejan Stankovic.
A clipped pass beyond the Schalke defence caused Manuel Neuer, the highly rated German keeper, to rush off his line and head away from outside his penalty area. However, from the halfway line, Stankovic, the Serbian international, struck a beautiful, technical volley with his right foot, which dropped into the back of the Schalke net.
In the 17th minute the Germans were level, when Joel Matip got the last touch after a Jose Jurado corner had caused havoc in the Inter penalty area.
However, Leonardo’s side, looking for a good result after derby-day misery at the weekend, re-took the lead when a clipped pass from Wesley Sneijder found Esteban Cambiasso, who teed up Diego Milito to score.
Nonetheless, Rangnick’s side weren’t prepared to lie down and went in to half-time level, when Goncalves Edu scored at the second attempt.
Leonardo’s side looked terrible at the back, but threatened going forward and should have been 4-2 up within five minutes of the re-start.
Firstly Milito broke the offside trap, but somehow missed the target when he only had Neuer to beat, before Germany’s number one made a quite outstanding save from Samuel Eto’o.
The holders looked to be finding their rhythm, but were stunned in the 53rd minute, when a clever pass from Peruvian winger Jefferson Farfan found Raul, who held off Andrea Ranocchia, the young Italian international defender, and poked past Julio Cesar for his 70th goal in the Champions League.
If Ranocchia’s defending for the third goal had been poor, his defending for the fourth was dreadful, as he slid in and turned a Jurado cross into his own net for an own goal.
In the 62nd minute, things went from bad to worse for the Nerazzurri, as Cristian Chivu was sent off for a second yellow card, albeit somewhat harshly.
With their hosts looking shell-shocked, Schalke went in search of more goals and added a fifth with 15 minutes remaining.
After the brilliant Farfan had hit a post, Edu struck a sweet left-foot shot past the hapless Cesar to give Schalke a stunning victory, and to leave Inter with it all to do when the visit Gelsenkirchen next Wednesday.