Nine-time champions Real Madrid eased past French club Lyon 3-0 on Wednesday to reach the quarter-finals of the Champions League for the first time in seven years.
REUTERS - Real Madrid eased into the Champions League quarter-finals for the first time in seven seasons when Marcelo, Karim Benzema and Angel Di Maria scored in a 3-0 demolition of Olympique Lyon on Wednesday.
Victory at a packed and rowdy Bernabeu put the record nine-times winners through 4-1 on aggregate after the teams drew 1-1 in last month's first leg in France.
Marcelo struck first on 37 minutes when he dashed in from left, exchanged passes with Cristiano Ronaldo and beat two defenders before firing in off goalkeeper Hugo Lloris's arm.
France international Benzema, a former Lyon player who scored Real's goal in the first leg, doubled Real's lead in the 66th when he raced clear and sent a low shot through the keeper's legs and Di Maria put the tie beyond the Ligue 1 club's reach with another breakaway goal 14 minutes from time.
Real, whose last Champions League title came in 2002, had failed to beat Lyon in seven previous meetings in Europe and were knocked out of the competition by them at the same stage last season.
The French side brought on Bafetimbi Gomis, scorer of their goal in the first leg, at the break but the 2010 semi-finalists scarcely came close to beating Real keeper Iker Casillas.
Their best effort came in the 22nd minute when Cesar Delgado curled a low shot from the edge of the penalty area, forcing Casillas to save low to his left.
A smooth passage through to the last eight will be seen as a personal triumph for Real coach Jose Mourinho, who was hired after leading Inter Milan to a treble of Italian league and cup and Champions League last term.
The draw for the quarter-finals is on Friday.
Date created : 2011-03-17