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Ronaldo double puts perfect Madrid through

Published: Wednesday 2 November 2011, 22.50CET
Olympique Lyonnais 0-2 Real Madrid CF
Cristiano Ronaldo scored a free-kick and a penalty as Real Madrid booked their place in the round of 16 with two games to spare.
by Matthew Spiro
from Stade de Gerland

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Published: Wednesday 2 November 2011, 22.50CET

Ronaldo double puts perfect Madrid through

Olympique Lyonnais 0-2 Real Madrid CF
Cristiano Ronaldo scored a free-kick and a penalty as Real Madrid booked their place in the round of 16 with two games to spare.

Real Madrid CF beat Olympique Lyonnais 2-0 to maintain their 100% Group D record and book a place in the UEFA Champions League round of 16 with two matches to spare.

The Ligue 1 outfit were looking to protect a year-long unbeaten home record stretching back 24 matches, but were overrun by José Mourinho's charges in a first half in which Cristiano Ronaldo opened the scoring from a free-kick. Les Gones improved, without finding a way past Iker Casillas, and the outstanding Ronaldo put the outcome beyond doubt with a 69th-minute penalty.

Karim Benzema had scored in his last three outings against his former employers and the Lyon-born striker almost extended that record inside ten minutes after racing on to Mesut Özil's measured pass. His rising shot was brilliantly saved by Hugo Lloris.

With last month's 4-0 reverse in Madrid still fresh in the mind, OL appeared nervy early on. Sami Khedira tested Lloris again and Ronaldo struck over before finding a way past the France No1 on 24 minutes. The Portuguese international struck his free-kick with power and accuracy through a fragmented wall.

Lloris was soon darting off his line to save at Özil's feet, and only Déjan Lovren's last-ditch challenge denied Ángel Di María a clear chance for the dominant visitors. It seemed a matter of time before the second arrived, but after Lloris had made another smart save from Benzema, the hosts found their feet.

Yet to concede in the group stage, Casillas produced regulation stops from Kim Källström and Jimmy Briand, then needed a save out of the top drawer on the stroke of half-time, tipping over Yoann Gourcuff's stinging shot.

The second half was more even, although the outcome proved the same. OL carved their clearest opening on 68 minutes, moments after Casillas had pushed out Ederson's initial effort. Gourcuff kept the move alive, linking up with Ederson, who jinked inside a defender before hitting a stinging drive that Casillas beat away.

That stop proved decisive as, seconds later, the referee pointed to the spot following Mouhamadou Dabo's foul on Ronaldo. The forward picked himself up and blasted a penalty down the middle. Though Briand later struck the bar with a header, there was no way back.

Madrid will clinch top spot by beating GNK Dinamo Zagreb on 22 November, when third-placed Lyon entertain an AFC Ajax side three points ahead of Rémi Garde's men.

Last updated: 27/11/12 8.51CET

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