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Sport

Lyon eliminate giants Real, Man United demolish AC Milan

©

Video by Fiona CAMERON , Adeline PERCEPT , Clément PERROUAULT

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2010-03-11

Hot favourites Real Madrid crashed out of the Champions League after being held 1-1 by France's Lyon in front of a home crowd at the Bernabeu stadium (aggregate score 2-1). Man United will join Lyon in the quarters after thumping AC Milan (4-0).

REUTERS - Real Madrid failed to qualify for the Champions League quarter-finals for the sixth straight season when Olympique Lyon dumped the Spaniards out 2-1 on aggregate on Wednesday.

Big-spending Real's dream of winning a 10th European title at their Bernabeu stadium in May was shattered by Miralem Pjanic's 75th-minute strike, which secured a 1-1 draw for visiting Lyon in the last 16 second leg after Cristiano Ronaldo's goal in the sixth minute.

"You can say it's a great achievement. We escaped the worst possible scenario in first half... Hats off to the players who gave all they had tonight. We played a superb second half and I think we deserved it," Lyon coach Claude Puel told TF1 channel.

Real president Florentino Perez spent close to a quarter of a billion euros ($340 million) in the summer in a bid to end the club's Champions League drought and their latest failure raises fresh questions about the future of coach Manuel Pellegrini.

Real went top of La Liga ahead of champions Barcelona on goal difference at the weekend but the domestic league is now their only chance of silverware this season.

A fired-up Real started the match strongly, winning the ball immediately from the Lyon kickoff, and goalkeeper Hugo Lloris has to sprint off his line to deny Kaka.

The rampant home side were ahead soon after. Guti lofted the ball to Ronaldo, set to lead Portugal's attack at this summer's World Cup, and the competition's top scorer this season took his tally to seven with a low finish that flew between Lloris's legs.

Gonzalo Higuain came desperately close to a second in the 26th when he rounded Lloris and had the empty goal in his sights but his angled shot bounced away off the inside of the post.

Real were far less dominant after the break and Lyon began to create chances of their own.

Substitute Maxime Gonalons headed narrowly over, Sidney Govou miscued an effort into the crowd from a good position and striker Lisandro Lopez stung the hands of Iker Casillas from distance.

Pjanic stunned the home fans when he picked up a loose ball in the Real area with 15 minutes left and hammered a volley past Casillas.

As Real poured forward and gaps opened up in their defence, Lopez and Cesar Delgado were both clean through on goal but failed to finish.

Tempers frayed at the end, substitute Raul and Lyon captain Cris clashing, and the final whistle was greeted with a mixture of stunned silence and subdued whistling from the Real fans and wild euphoria from the Lyon faithful high up in the stands.
 

Two more for in-form Rooney
 

Wayne Rooney scored twice again as Manchester United cruised into the quarter-finals of the Champions League after a 4-0 win over a feeble AC Milan sent them through 7-2 on aggregate on Wednesday.
 
Rooney, who scored twice in the 3-2 San Siro win, was on target with a 13th-minute header that broke the hearts of the seven-times winners.
 
He added his second at the start of the second half and in a virtual exhibition match, Park Ji-sung after an hour and a late Darren Fletcher header completed the crushing victory.
 
"We got the break with the early goal in the second half and after that we played very well. When we play at that tempo we are difficult to play against. With the team I've got it dosn't matter who we play next," said United manager Alex Ferguson.
 
Milan, without injured centre back Alessandro Nesta, striker Alexandre Pato and midfielder Luca Antonini looked off the pace from the start but few could have predicted their total capitulation.
 
Rooney shot wide after three minutes and even fullback Gary Neville was allowed to let fly just over the bar with his left foot soon after.
 
Milan should have scored from their first real attack though as an Andrea Pirlo free kick reached Ronaldinho but the Brazilian's header went just wide after eight minutes.
 
If Klaas Jan Huntelaar had managed to control Thiago Silva's through ball with the goal gaping things might have turned out differently.
 
With Daniele Bonera forced to operate at centre back Rooney was wandering free and when Neville found him on the penalty spot there was never any doubt that he would thunder his header beyond Christian Abbiati.
 
That left Milan needing three goals to progress and it appeared that nobody in their lineup had the confidence to find them.
 
 
Biggest cheer
 
Within a minute of the restart they needed four as more slack defending allowed Nani to charge forward down the left. He then sent in an inviting low cross with the outside of his right boot and Rooney made sure he reached it first to score his 30th club goal of the season.
 
Paul Scholes sent Park through to slide in the third as Milan just about went through the motions.
 
The introduction of David Beckham as a 65th-minute replacement for Ignazio Abate raised the biggest cheer of the night as the midfielder, who left United for Real Madrid in 2003, was given a standing ovation and even tested Edwin van der Sar with a sharp shot.
 
With not much of a contest to keep them occupied United's fans spent most of the last 20 minutes chanting anti-Glazer songs and displaying their green and gold protest scarves against the American owners of the club -- Beckham left the pitch wearing one at fulltime.
 
They were brought back to the action two minutes from time when Fletcher stretched well at the far post to head home the fourth goal and complete Milan's humiliation.
 
With Arsenal moving though against Porto on Tuesday, Chelsea can make it a hat-trick of English sides into the last eight if they can turn round their 2-1 deficit against Inter Milan at Stamford Bridge next week.




 

 

Date created : 2010-03-11

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