Real Madrid closed in on the Champions League semi-finals and the 10th title they have been chasing with an emphatic 3-0 win over Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday as the nine-times winners avenged last season’s humiliating loss to the Bundesliga side in style.
Cristiano Ronaldo equalled the record for most goals in the tournament in one season with his 14th and Gareth Bale and Isco also scored in the quarter-final first leg as Real steamrollered the team who beat them 4-1 in Dortmund in the first leg of last term’s semi-final before going through 4-3 on aggregate.
Chasing the record-extending 10th continental crown which has eluded them since their last triumph in 2002, Real dominated an injury-hit Dortmund side who were also missing suspended striker Robert Lewandowski.
The Poland international, who scored all four goals against Real in last year’s semi-final first leg, should be back for the return on Tuesday but Juergen Klopp’s side must pull off something close to mission impossible to turn the tie around.
“I am very pleased with the match and the result,” Real coach Carlo Ancelotti told a news conference before warning that Dortmund, who squandered several chances, remained a threat.
“What Borussia showed in the second half is that they are a team with quality who have what it takes to turn the tie around and we have to be careful.”
Wales winger Bale poked the ball into the net in the third minute at the Bernabeu to put Real ahead and Spain playmaker 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 for Europe’s elite club competition jointly held by Barcelona’s Lionel Messi and former AC Milan forward Jose Altafini.
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,” 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.