Real Madrid 5-2 Apoel Nicosia

A fairly comfortable trip into the semi-finals of the Champions League for Real Madrid with a 5-2 win on the night, 8-2 on aggregate against Apoel Nicosia.

Ronaldo opened the scoring midway through the first half and Kaká made it two with a 25 metre sizzler. Apoel pulled one back through Gustavo Manduca but Ronaldo restored the gap with his second of the night and 49th of the season.

In the second half, substitute Callejon found the net and fellow substitute Di Maria made it five. A penalty for Apoel, converted by Esteban Solari, made the final score 5-2.

Two early incidents highlighted the recent trends, the players presumably testing out the referee. In the very first minute, Ronaldo executed a flawless ‘actor’s trip’ inside the penalty area and in the ninth minute, Marcelo rolled around the floor clutching his face. In neither case was there any physical contact to justify such action.

Both players are of such a calibre that such behaviour is totally unnecessary, but it is the modern trend. Fortunately such incidents did not continue throughout the game.

In the other match, Chelsea moved into the semis with a 2-1 win, 3-1 on aggregate, over Benfica, who were down to ten men for much of the time after captain Maxi Pereira was sent packing.

Lampard from the penalty spot and Meireles were the scorers for Chelsea, Javi Garcia for Benfica.

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