Ronaldo goal seals quarter-final spot for United

Manchester United 1 Lyon 0 (agg: 2-1)

Manchester United 1 Lyon 0 (agg: 2-1)

Cristiano Ronaldo again showed his liking for the big stage by scoring the winner at Old Trafford as Manchester United set another Champions League milestone.

The Portugal winger steered the club to a 10th straight home victory in the competition, equalling Juventus’ record set 11 years ago.

Ronaldo struck in the 41st minute to break Lyon’s resistance and secure a place in the quarter-finals.

The French side carved out a couple of decent chances before United made the breakthrough.

Alex Ferguson’s side were highly motivated from the off and Patrice Evra let his enthusiasm get the better of him.

He picked up a booking after only four minutes for a challenge on Karim Benzema.

The highly-rated Lyon striker had scored a superb opening goal in the first leg and Ferguson knew the danger he posed.

United made a swift break in the 10th minute and there was a buzz of anticipation around the ground as Ronaldo collected the ball.

The Portugal winger cut inside only to see his effort blocked by experienced Brazilian defender Cris.

Anderson then tried to thread the ball through to Evra only for Francois Clerc to read the situation well and clear the danger.

United had stepped up the pressure and Michael Carrick picked out Darren Fletcher in the 16th minute but he rattled a shot from distance wide of the post.

Play broke down the other end and Benzema got clear, only to fire his shot from 25 yards over the top in the 20th minute.

Ronaldo then weighed up a free-kick but scuffed his effort. The ball broke to Wayne Rooney but he too failed to find the target.

Lyon were looking well organised and Clerc whipped in a cross from the right after 27 minutes that Edwin van der Sar took cleanly.

Two minutes later the Dutch goalkeeper had to look alert to parry Kim Kallstrom’s rasping effort as the French visitors suddenly stepped up the pace.

Lyon were beginning to knock the ball around and the home fans were getting anxious.

Evra then latched on to a good through ball from Ronaldo and delivered a cross into the box.

Goalkeeper Gregory Coupet got there ahead of Darren Fletcher only to be clattered by the Scottish midfielder and earn a free-kick.

United made the breakthrough to go 2-1 ahead on aggregate thanks to Ronaldo’s 30th goal of the season in all competitions.

Nani started the move and sent Wes Brown clear on the right. He found Anderson, whose effort was blocked.

The ball broke to Ronaldo, who beat Coupet at the near post and stun Lyon.

That goal from Ronaldo had given United the boost they needed and Nani saw his effort blocked in the 49th minute.

Lyon were anxious to get back in the game and a minute later Juninho tried his luck from distance but failed to test van der Sar.

Then Evra picked out Carrick and he fired in a shot that was deflected to safety.

Juninho has carved out a reputation as a dead-ball specialist and he was not afraid to try his luck from all of 30 yards in the 58th minute.

But he was left frustrated as Ronaldo showed his defensive side by heading the free-kick to safety.

Lyon, however, launched a swift counter-attack in the 66th minute with United almost paying for their carelessness.

Benzema got away and released Clerc but the move broke down when he delivered a weak cross cum shot into the area.

United boss Ferguson brought on Carlos Tevez for Anderson in the 71st minute in a bid to extend their lead.

Rooney then tried to release the striker with a cross only to see it blocked before Lyon almost grabbed the equaliser.

Substitute Kader Keita showed good pace in the 74th minute but saw his shot come back off the post.

United hit back and Rooney should have scored following a poor back pass from Hatem Ben Arfa only for Coupet to block his chip.

Rooney was again out of luck in the 87th minute with Lyon stretched as they went in search of the equaliser.

While the England striker was left frustrated the consolation was that United completed the job.

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