Lyon knocks Real Madrid out of Champions League
Big-spending Real Madrid was knocked out of the Champions League by Lyon on Wednesday and Manchester United spoiled David Beckham's return to Old Trafford with a 4-0 victory over AC Milan.sports Updated: Mar 11, 2010 12:05 IST
Big-spending Real Madrid was knocked out of the Champions League by Lyon on Wednesday and Manchester United spoiled David Beckham's return to Old Trafford with a 4-0 victory over AC Milan.
Madrid was held 1-1 at home by Lyon which meant it went out 2-1 on aggregate and failed to reach the last eight for the sixth season in a row. In Manchester, two more goals by Wayne Rooney _ who also scored twice in the first leg in Milan and now has 30 league and cup goals this season _ helped United triumph 7-2 overall and join Arsenal and Bayern Munich in the quarterfinals.
Nine-time European champion Madrid spent $250 million ($340 million) on new players to try and win the trophy for the first time since 2002 and now will have to wait at least one more season. "We didn't score enough goals in the first half to be able to play calmly in the second half," said Madrid coach Manuel Pellegrini. "We didn't try to get the second goal collectively, we were making too many individual plays."
It all looked hopeful for Madrid when it wiped out Lyon's 1-0 first-leg lead within six minutes of the kickoff. A long pass by Jose Maria "Guti" Gutierrez' released Cristiano Ronaldo down the left and the winger, who left United for Real Madrid at the end of last season, fired an angled shot through the legs of goalkeeper Hugo Lloris for his seventh Champions League goal of the season.
It should have been 2-0 in the 26th when Gonzalo Higuain got clear and rounded the goalkeeper but fired against the post when faced by an empty net.
Jean II Makoun, who scored Lyon's spectacular goal in the first leg, squandered a rare chance for the visitor when a cross found him unmarked in front of goal as he miskicked the ball from 10 meters out.
Sidney Govou missed a similar chance early in the second half but Miralem Pjanic made it 1-1 in the 75th minute when he got clear down the left and fired past goalkeeper Iker Casillas. Madrid then needed two more goals to avoid going out, but surprisingly took off one of its big signings, Kaka, and replaced him with veteran striker Raul Gonzalez.
At Old Trafford, Rooney scored United's first two and Park Ji-sung and Darren Fletcher added two more to send United into the last eight.
"When we play at that tempo, we're difficult to play against and it was a really solid performance," said United manager Alex Ferguson, who has guided the team to the last two finals. "With that kind of team I've got it doesn't matter who we play." It was 3-0 by the time Beckham went on as a substitute to a big ovation from the United fans and the former England captain, on loan to Milan from the Los Angeles Galaxy, could do little to stop his team going out of the competition.
"It was nice to be back and obviously a disappointing night," Beckham said. "When you don't start in a game it's one of those things when you always want to play.
"But it was an unbelievable reception and I have to say thank you."
The results meant that Madrid and Milan, winners of 16 titles between them in European football's biggest competition, are out early yet again.
In Tuesday's games, Arsenal outplayed FC Porto 5-0 to reach the quarterfinal 6-2 overall and four-time European champion Bayern Munich made it on away goals despite losing 3-2 at Fiorentina. The two teams finished 4-4 on aggregate.
Next week's games are Chelsea-Inter Milan (1-2), CSKA Moscow-Sevilla (1-1), Barcelona-Stuttgart (1-1) and Bordeaux-Olympiakos (1-0).
First Published: Mar 11, 2010 12:01 IST