Real Madrid secured their passage to the Champions League quarter-finals with a comfortable win over CSKA Moscow last night.
Seydou Doumbia missed a glorious chance to give the visitors the lead inside 10 minutes as he fired over when clean through, but Real slowly started to take control of the game, and deservedly took the lead, as Gonzalo Higuain slotted home from Kaka’s pull-back.
A howler from Sergei Chepchugov allowed the hosts to double their advantage as he spilled Cristiano Ronaldo’s long-range shot into his own net 10 minutes after half-time, and Karim Benzema slotted home the third at the second attempt with 20 minutes remaining.
Zoran Tosic got a consolation for CSKA with a wonderful strike five minutes later, but Ronaldo sealed the victory with a tap-in after an unselfish pass from Benzema in stoppage time.
Jose Mourinho had opted against recalling Benzema to the starting 11 as he named the same side that had defeated Real Betis 3-2 at the weekend.
However it was the visitors who enjoyed a brighter start and should have been rewarded with the opening goal as Doumbia was played through by Alan Dzagoev but the Ivorian blazed over with just Iker Casillas to beat.
Madrid began to pin back the visitors with wave after wave of attack and the opening goal arrived on 26 minutes when Sami Khedira’s chipped ball over the CSKA defence found Kaka and his cut-back was rolled into the empty net by Higuain.
The second period started as the first ended, with Madrid on the front foot and Chepchugov had to be quick off his line to smother Ronaldo’s effort.
The only major negative of the evening for the home side was to come moments later, however, as Xabi Alonso picked up a yellow card that will keep him out of the first leg of the quarter-final.
Ronaldo then made it two on 55 minutes with a long-range effort that Chepchugov should have handled but the goalkeeper fumbled into his own net.
Benzema sealed the tie with 20 minutes left with only his second touch after replacing Higuain as he raced onto Mesut Ozil’s pass and despite Chepchugov making a brave stop from his first effort, the rebound fell kindly for the Frenchman to slot home his fifth goal in Europe this season.
CSKA, to their credit, did not give in and got the goal their efforts deserved when Tosic turned inside Pepe and rocketed a shot in off the bar.
However, Ronaldo was to have the final say as Pepe fed Benzema inside the area and he squared for the former Manchester United man to score his second of the evening.
REAL MADRID: Casillas, Arbeloa, Pepe, Sergio Ramos, Marcelo, Khedira, Alonso, Ozil (Diarra 87), Kaka (Granero 76), Ronaldo, Higuain (Benzema 69).
CSKA MOSCOW: Chepchugov, Berezutsky, Berezutsky, Ignashevich, Shchennikov, Musa (Oliseh 60), Wernbloom, Aldonin (Mamaev 46), Tosic (Necid 81), Dzagoev, Doumbia.
Referee: Stephane Lannoy (France).
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