Real Madrid 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.
- Varun Gandhi Under Attack Over Defence Deals: Here’s How
- This Diwali, Let Blind Students Brighten Up your Homes With Candles & Diyas
- CBI Files Supplementary Chargesheet In Sheena Bora Murder Case
- Soha Ali Khan And Vir Das Starrer 31st October Audience Reaction
- Sahara Chief Subrata Roy’s Parole Extended Till November 28
- Simple Tips To Secure Your Debit Card From Fraudsters
- New Zealand & India Team Being Welcomed In Chandigarh
- Mumbai Call Centre Scam: All You Need To Know
- Jammu Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti Appeals To Police: Here’s What She Said
- Shocker From Ahmedabad: Find Out What Happened
- Bigg Boss 10 Day 3 Review: Celebs Fail To Do Well in First Task
- Airtel Offers 10GB Data At Rs 259 For New 4G Smartphone Users
- Aamir Khan Starrer Dangal’s Trailer Launched: First Impressions
- TMC Supporters Attack BJP Leader Babul Supriyo
- Sri Lankan Navy Apprehends 20 Indian Fishermen
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.
“It’s a magnificent result, we are pleased with the 3-0, above all for not conceding a goal,” Real playmaker Isco said in an interview with Spanish television broadcaster Canal Plus.
“It’s a big step towards a place in the semi-finals,” he added.
“The whole defence should get 10 out of 10, and the team as well, the result was more than deserved.”
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.
“We had our chances,” Dortmund midfielder Nuri Sahin told ZDF.
“We have to play more clever. We had 10 counter-attack chances and we scored none. The early goal did its damage as well. We should have scored one for the second leg but now we have none.
“You can always have even minimal chances but we have to be realistic and say that it will be very difficult.”