Goal.com - Home

thumbnail Hello,
 
Played
March 28, 2012 2:45 AM SGT
Neo GSP — Nicosía (Levkosía)
Referee:‬ F. Brych‎
Attendance:‬ 22000‎
 
 
 
Kaká 82′
 
Top of the Match
?
To Be Announced Shortly
Kaká
Kaká
Real Madrid CF
Flop of the Match
?
To Be Announced Shortly

APOEL 0-3 Real Madrid: Kaka makes major impact from bench while Benzema nets twice in comfortable victory for Mourinho's men

Three second-half goals handed the Spanish giants a straightforward away win against the hard-working Cypriot champions in Nicosia on Tuesday

By Alex Mott

Benzema-Real Madrid-Real Sociedad
Getty Images

Real Madrid recorded a 3-0 triumph over APOEL thanks to a second-half double from Karim Benzema and a single strike from Kaka in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final tie at GSP Stadium.

A diving header from the Frenchman, a side-footed finish from the Brazilian and a late tap-in for the former Lyon striker banished any Cypriot hopes of a famous draw, as the Spanish side's quality eventually shone through.

With APOEL playing the biggest game in their history, it was perhaps no surprise that they came out all guns blazing in front of a partisan home support, and attempted to put Jose Mourinho's side under extreme pressure early on.

It didn't take long, though, before Madrid started to dominate possession and create opportunities.

Within the space of three minutes, Cristiano Ronaldo, Mesut Ozil and Benzema all had half-chances, but it wasn't until the quarter-hour mark until they had their first real opening. A ball from Ozil played in Fabio Coentrao, but the Portuguese full-back snatched at his shot and fired wide from inside the area.

The Cypriots, having already travelled further in the competition than any side in their nation's history were coping well with the relentless wave of Madrid attacks, but they very nearly found themselves a goal down on 33 minutes.

A beautiful ball across the six-yard box from Nuri Sahin evaded APOEL keeper Dionisis Chiotis and found Benzema unmarked at the far post, but the France international somehow missed the target with the goal at his mercy.

The remainder of the half fizzled out, as APOEL failed to offer support to the increasingly isolated Ailton up front, and the nine-time European champions just couldn't find a way past the resolute Cypriot back line.

The teams reemerged for the second half, and whatever Mourinho said to his side at the break seemed to work, as Los Blancos increased their intensity and attacking impetus during the opening exchanges.

Ozil, Sahin and Sami Khedira were creating some intricate midfield triangles, but as with the first 45, Ivan Jovanovic's men were defending at their very best to block any attempts at their goal.

With an hour gone, Madrid had completed 416 passes compared to APOEL's 94, but it took until the 74th minute for the Spanish side's dominance to truly show. Kaka put in a delicious cross from the left, and found the head of Benzema, who got down low to direct the ball into the back of the net from six yards.

The tiring APOEL legs were starting to show, and seven minutes later, it was two. Marcelo this time got to the byeline, played it back, and there was Kaka to coolly pass home and really sink all Cypriot hopes.

And right on 90 minutes, Madrid took the game out of sight. A burst from midfield by Ronaldo took him to the edge of the area, he played it square to Ozil, and the German passed first time across the six-yard box for Benzema to tap in.

The Spanish giants now have a comfortable advantage heading into the second leg next Wednesday at the Santiago Bernabeu, and can concentrate on their stuttering league form, with a place in the last four all but certain.



APOEL Nicosia

22
Dionisis Chiotis
Goalkeeper
2.50
-
Paulo Jorge
Defender
2.50
6
2.50
-
2.50
-
Boaventura
Defender
2.50
10
2.00
26
Nuno Morais
Defender
2.50
-
Ailton
Striker
3.00
-
Ivan Trickovski
Midfielder
2.00
-
Hélio Pinto
Midfielder
72′
2.50
29
2.50

Real Madrid CF

3.00
1
Iker Casillas
Goalkeeper
3.00
3
Pepe
Defender
3.00
4
3.00
5
2.50
17
Arbeloa
Defender
3.50
18
Nuri Sahin
Midfielder
84′
3.00
6
Sami Khedira
Midfielder
3.50
11
Mesut Özil
Midfielder
90′
3.00
7
3.50
9
2.50
9

Substitutes

78
Urko Pardo
Goalkeeper
0.00
-
Kaká
Defender
13′
2.50
-
Helder Sousa
Midfielder
46′
2.50
77
Athos Solomou
Midfielder
0.00
10
0.00
9
E. Solari
Striker
72′
3.00
20
0.00

Substitutes

0.00
1
Adàn
Goalkeeper
3.50
12
Marcelo
Defender
64′ 82′
0.00
33
0.00
2
3.00
25
0.00
4
4.00
22
Kaká
Midfielder
64′ 74′ 82′

Coach/Manager

-
 - 

Coach/Manager

 - 
-
 
  • Goal
  • Own Goal
  • Penalty
  • Penalty Missed
  • Yellow Card
  • Assist
  • Penalty Save
  • Penalty Shootout Goal
  • Penalty Shootout Miss
  • Yellow Card / Red Card
  • Red Card
  • Substitution IN
  • Substitution OUT
  • Injury
  • Goal.com Rating
  • Goal.com Man of the Match
  • Goal.com Flop of the Match
  • Top & Flop Global Ranking
  • Fans' Man of the Match
  • Fans' Flop of the Match
Results
 
Top Scorers
Player   Goals Penalties
Cristiano Ronaldo Cristiano Ronaldo
Striker
Real Madrid
14 1
Zlatan Ibrahimovic Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Striker
PSG
10 1
Lionel Messi Lionel Messi
Striker
Barcelona
8 2
Diego Costa Diego Costa
Striker
Atl. Madrid
7 0
Sergio Agüero Sergio Agüero
Striker
Man City
6 2