Real Madrid CF are primed to reach a first UEFA Champions League semi-final for eight years after an Emmanuel Adebayor double and further second-half strikes from Ángel Di María and Cristiano Ronaldo earned a resounding victory against ten-man Tottenham Hotspur FC.
Scorer of eight goals against Tottenham in nine north London derbies while at Arsenal FC, Adebayor – on loan from Manchester City FC – again proved a handful for the visitors, nodding in the opener in the fourth minute. The visitors lost Peter Crouch to a 15th-minute red card but got to half-time just one goal in arrears, only for Adebayor to head his and Madrid's second soon after the restart. Di María and Ronaldo wrapped things up in the final 20 minutes.
Spurred on by a spectacular pre-match introduction, the hosts started strongly, Ronaldo firing wide before Di María forced a corner off Vedran Ćorluka. From Mesut Özil's subsequent centre, Adebayor connected with a downward header that evaded Heurelho Gomes and Luka Modrić's attempt to clear on the line.
Things got even worse for the Premier League side 11 minutes later when Crouch, already booked for bringing down Sergio Ramos, collected a second yellow card for a challenge on Marcelo. Yet despite that double setback Tottenham – victors against AC Milan in the last round – still threatened, mainly through Gareth Bale.
Quick thinking from the Welsh international gave Rafael van der Vaart the chance to mark his return to Madrid with a goal, but the Dutchman was crowded out as he attempted to get his shot away from Bale's throw-in. Moments later the 21-year-old went it alone, holding off Pepe and Ramos only to shoot into the side netting. Madrid, however, were largely in control and almost made it two when Ramos's diving header flew across the face of the goal, Adebayor just failing to connect.
Sensing the need for an attacking outlet Harry Redknapp sent on Jermain Defoe at half-time yet it was the nine-time European champions who increased the pace up front. Ronaldo began the second half by fizzing a low drive just wide and he was involved again as Madrid finally doubled their advantage in the 57th minute, playing a short corner for Marcelo to deliver a cross that Adebayor met with a resounding header.
It got even better for the home support in the 72nd minute. Winning possession in the middle of the pitch Xabi Alonso quickly released Özil, who in turn found Di María on the right. Cutting inside, the Argentinian international unleashed a wonderful left-footed strike from the corner of the area that left Gomes a spectator.
The Brazilian was beaten again with three minutes left. Substitute Kaká picked out Ronaldo for a volley that crept inside the goalkeeper's left-hand post to leave Madrid's quest for a tenth European title in good shape and Tottenham's first UEFA Champions League campaign all but over.
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