13.04.2011 » Tottenham 0-1 Real Madrid. Cristiano Ronaldo scores a rocket.
Real Madrid knew that only a true nightmare could lead the outcome of tonight's match to knock them out of the UEFA Champions League, after having 4-0 in the first leg. However, José Mourinho didn't facilitate and started the match with a strong lineup, to make sure no surprises would happen. Cristiano Ronaldo, Sergio Ramos and Ricardo Carvalho were on the starting eleven, and were one yellow card away from being suspended one match. Unfortunately, that happened close to the end of the first half, and Ricardo Carvalho will miss the the first leg of the semi-finals against Barcelona.
Real Madrid assured their ticket to the UEFA Champions League semifinals after eliminating Tottenham Hotspur with a 5-0 on aggregate. The "Merengues" leave London with a 0-1 victory in the pocket, after Gomes failed to clear a powerful right footer by Cristiano Ronaldo, from around 35 meters distance. Unfortunately for José Mourinho, who today achieved his 500th match as a professional manager, Ricardo Carvalho will sit out the first leg of the semifinals against Barcelona, after being booked in the first half, close to the 40th minute, in a badly timed sliding tackle.
With the exception of Angel Di Maria, José Mourinho didn’t rest anyone for this Saturday’s Clasico against Barcelona. The Brazilian Marcelo took position in the midfield and Real Madrid fought well against a very motivated Spurs side, despite the big loss in the first leg. The stands quieted momentarily just a couple minutes after the kick off, when Mesut Ozil, after connecting well with Adebayor, sent a shot into the hands of Gomes.
Real Madrid controlled the ball in the midfield as Tottenham attempted to exploit the left flank, where Gareth Bale failed to find a teammate on two quick advances on goal. However, it was from the right that Aaron Lennon found some space and put in a perfect cross that Pavlyuchenko sent over the crossbar, wasting a great chance. The Xabi Alonso, Khedira and Ozil trio instilled order and pace to the match as Real Madrid milked the clock. Cristiano Ronaldo kept pushing the team upfront, but Real Madrid couldn't score any goal in the fist half, mostly due to several good saves by Gomes, who cleared a Sergio Ramos header around the 36th minute.
The second half started and Cristiano Ronaldo didn't seem to be happy with the result. CR7 received the ball around 30 meters out and fired the rocket towards goal but straight at Tottenham's goalkeeper. Gomes hands buckled upon impact and the ball's momentum carried it into the net. There was nothing more Tottenham could do, since they now needed to score 6 goals to get through.
With a spot in the semifinals all wrapped up, the match came down to who would walk away victorious. Tottenham continued applying pressure, showing a very good attitude and Pavlyuchenko could have netted the equalizer but his header sailed high once more. Granero stepped in for Sergio Ramos on the 57th minute and Kaká replaced Cristiano Ronaldo just eight minutes later. The Brazilian came close to score a few minutes after, but Gomes made a very good save and prevented another goal. Also recently recovered from injury, Karim Benzema came in for Xabi Alonso with 15 minutes left in regulation time. The UEFA Champions League returns to the Santiago Bernabéu on Wednesday, the 27th of April, when Real Madrid host Barcelona in the first leg of the semifinals, but first the two meet this weekend on Saturday, for the Spanish League "Clasico".
Remember that you can watch Real Madrid vs Barcelona livestreams, online here on ronaldo7.net, this Saturday. Cristiano Ronaldo is expected to play.