16.03.2011 » Real Madrid 3-0 Lyon. Cristiano Ronaldo assists Marcelo in the opener
This magic night started with a tribute to the victims of the earthquake and tsunamis occured in Japan, last week. Both teams gathered in the center of the field and granted one minute of silence in memory of all those affected with the tragedy in Japan. Then the show started and the Santiago Bernabéu witnessed a magic European night, that carried Real Madrid to a spectacular victory with great goals from Marcelo, Karim Benzema and Angel Di Maria, granting a 3-0 victory. Cristiano Ronaldo started the match and was later on substituted, but it has been more than evident that the Portuguese player isn't fully recoreved yet.
Real Madrid players and staff team asked fans to pack the stadium the day prior to the match, and so they did. Fans truly acted as the team's 12th player, in order to make Olympique Lyonnais feel the now legendary Santiago Bernabéu "stage fright." It was only natural that José Mourinho's men overpowered Lyon. Marcelo, Karim Benzema and Di Maria scored the goals that gloriously carried the team to the quarterfinals, for the first time since 2004! Cristiano Ronaldo had a few good efforts, including an assist to Marcelo in the first goal of the match, but it was obvious to everyone that CR7 played this match still far from his perfect condition.
European Cup nights at the Santiago Bernabéu are historic, and tonight's lived up to all expectations. Real Madrid took the pitch like a thunderstorm and had many chances on goal, forcing Hugo Lloris to become Lyon's best man on the pitch. Cristiano Ronaldo tried to score several times, but it was Marcelo who eventually netted the opener with a sublime dribble against Lovren and a powerful shot that defeated Hugo Lloris with ease the 37th minute.
Olympique Lyon took risks after half-time by looking to score repeatedly. Claude Puel made Gomis come on, in order to deepen the team's attack. This proved fatal, as Real Madrid are lethal whenever they find room to attack and on the 66th minute, Marcelo served the ball to Ozil, who had to fight for it with a Lyon defender. Karim Benzema then managed to control the ball, overtook Lyon's captain Cris and nutmegged Hugo Lloris with an incredibly confident shot. The Santiago Bernabéu crowd roared and celebrated loudly and gave a standing ovation for the idol of the moment.
José Mourinho replaced Cristiano Ronaldo with Adebayor around the 74th minute, in order to give CR7 some rest before the important derby against Atletico Madrid, which will be played this Saturday. Ronaldo was seen stretching just after the match, showing one more sign that he's still recovering from the injury suffered in the match against Malaga, which kept him away from the last two matches. Angel Di Maria then scored the third and final strike of the night following an incredible mistake by the French defence, around the minute 76. The Argentine stole the ball with ease and comfortably defeated the keeper, Lloris, by chipping the ball above him.
The final minutes were marked by a great atmosphere on the stands given that the team was about to reach the quarterfinals for the first time in six years. As soon as the referee blew the whistle, players from both sides had a nice gesture and wore shirts in support of Eric Abidal, containing the message "Ánimo Abidal" (Be strong Abidal). The Barcelona French defender was diagnosed with a liver tumor earlier this week.
You can watch Atletico Madrid vs Real Madrid livestreams this Saturday, here on ronaldo7.net. Cristiano Ronaldo is expected to play, but there will be news on this matter in the next days. Links will be updated around 30 or 60 minutes before the match starts.