Home » Champ League, Latest » CL Match Report: Real Madrid 4 CSKA Moscow 1; 5-2 on agg

For six successive seasons Real Madrid fell at this hurdle. No more. José Mourinho’s side eased into the Champions League quarter-final with a comprehensive win over CSKA Moscow and, though this was not their most sparkling performance, few will want to face them when the draw is made on Friday.

Despite occasional flashes from the Russians and, as the clock ticked down, the odd nervy moment, there was an authority about Madrid.

Kaká was fluid and Cristiano Ronaldo hyperactive, while goals from Gonzalo Higuaín, Ronaldo, Karim Benzema and Ronaldo again completed a comfortable passage. They also ensured that the best goal of the night, Zoran Tosic’s rocket in off the bar, did not matter.

There was just one piece of genuinely bad news. Xabi Alonso, whose passing was impeccable here, picked up a yellow card for a foul on Pontus Wernbloom that equals a first-leg suspension.

The first leg in this tie had ended with Wernbloom volleying in a 93rd-minute goal to deny Real Madrid a win they had looked certain to secure after Ronaldo’s first-half strike. The goal came from CSKA’s first shot on target but Mourinho insisted that it was not a drama. Analysed coldly, a 1-1 draw is still a good result away from home – one that set Madrid up to progress. No one doubted that they would.

Yet the first chance here fell to CSKA, Seydou Doumbia smashing over the bar one on one with Iker Casillas. It was a wonderful opportunity – to take a lead and to level up the away goals tally – and a woeful shot.

The game was only seven minutes old but CSKA had already given a couple of hints that they would not simply wait for Madrid. They often had two or three men ahead of the ball and combined neatly, seeking Ahmed Musa on the right. Supplied by Alan Dzagoev soon, his low ball across looked for Doumbia, dashing in towards the six-yard box. But with Pepe closing in, he was just unable to make contact.

There were glimpses of CSKA’s danger throughout the half, not least when Casillas punched away Musa’s shot, but they were largely fleeting ones and Madrid took control. Ronaldo slotted an angled ball towards Mesut Ozil, who felt Sergei Ignashevic’s hand and went tumbling – rather too easily for the referee’s liking. Kaká had a deflected float over and another shot flash wide.

Madrid were progressing to the edge of the area but rarely further, until Sami Khedira’s clever clipped ball towards Kaká on the left, behind Aleksei Berezutski. Higuaín reacted quickest to nudge in the cross from a couple of yards. Ronaldo doubled the advantage from 35 yards early in the second half. In truth he probably should not even have taken the shot. But the ball swerved awkwardly and dropped in front of the CSKA goalkeeper, Sergei Chepchugov, who misjudged it horribly and succeeded only in palming it into his own net.

This looked even easier now, despite CSKA having a wonderfully worked goal ruled out for offside and Doumbia squirming free of Casillas only to scuff his shot. Benzema replaced Higuaín with 20 minutes to go. Within a minute he had scored. Madrid were through. When Tosic made it 3-1, some sections of the Bernabéu applauded. They could afford to.

Many had gone by the time Pepe burst out of the defence, found Benzema and he crossed for Ronaldo to round it all off with the fourth.

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