Raul and Real in, holders Inter out
Nine-time champions Real Madrid and surprise packets Schalke 04 made no mistake in securing their places in the last four of the Champions League.sports Updated: Apr 14, 2011 23:28 IST
Nine-time champions Real Madrid and surprise packets Schalke 04 made no mistake in securing their places in the last four of the Champions League.
Real beat English side Tottenham 1-0 in London yesterday to win 5-0 on aggregate after Cristiano Ronaldo scored one of the softest goals of his career when Spurs keeper Heurelho Gomes allowed a long-range shot to bounce out of his hands in the 50th minute and failed to retrieve the ball as it bounced agonisingly over the goal line.
It also kept alive the hopes of coach Jose Mourinho of winning the trophy with three different sides, having won with Porto in 2004 and Inter Milan last year.
Schalke’s former Real legend Raul made sure that Inter would not be able to repeat their success. He scored his 71st Champions League goal in Schalke’s 2-1 win in Germany to wrap up a 7-3 aggregate triumph and give the veteran striker hope of a fourth Champions League winners medal.
However the formidable obstacle of Manchester United lie in wait in the semi-finals.
Spurs had to make Champions League history in coming from 4-0 down after the first leg and while they made a good fist of it in the first-half, having a goal ruled out and two penalty appeals turned down Gomes’s error put them out of their misery.
Schalke fans snap up tickets for semis tie
Gelsinkirschen: All available tickets for the home leg of Schalke’s Champions League semi-final against Manchester United on April 26 sold out in just two and a half hours on Thursday.
A sell-out crowd of 54,000 is expected, with some 2,500 tickets already allocated to United for their fans.
The return leg takes place at Old Trafford on May 4. Schalke have 30,000 season-ticket holders, who also have to apply for European matches, and when tickets went on sale on Thursday, the fans took just 150 minutes to snap them up.
Meanwhile, two of the world’s richest clubs and fiercest rivals, Real Madrid and Barcelona, face four titanic clashes in three weeks that will transfix and split the nation.
They meet on Saturday in the league and again in the Spanish Cup final just four days later before heading into the two Champions League semi-final legs — at the Bernabeu on April 27 and on May 3 at the Camp Nou.
Barca are presently eight points clear off Real, who are in second spot, at the top of the table.