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Kaká inspires Madrid to victory at APOEL

Published: Tuesday 27 March 2012, 22.45CET
APOEL FC 0-3 Real Madrid CF
The nine-time winners were made to battle by the quarter-final debutants but late on Karim Benzema scored twice and Kaká once to put them in charge.
by Vassiliki Papantonopoulou
from GSP Stadium

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Match statistics

APOELReal Madrid

Goals scored0
3
Attempts on target0
8
Attempts off target0
12
Corners1
 
4
Offsides3
 
2
Fouls committed13
 
11
Yellow cards0
 
0
Red cards0
 
0
Possession (%)30
 
70

Standings

 
Published: Tuesday 27 March 2012, 22.45CET

Kaká inspires Madrid to victory at APOEL

APOEL FC 0-3 Real Madrid CF
The nine-time winners were made to battle by the quarter-final debutants but late on Karim Benzema scored twice and Kaká once to put them in charge.

Real Madrid CF are on the verge of the semi-finals for the second season running as three goals in the final 16 minutes all but ended APOEL FC's remarkable UEFA Champions League run.

The nine-time winners were made to work hard for victory in Nicosia despite dominating possession and territory; the introduction of Kaká just past the hour provided the spark they needed. The Brazilian set up Karim Benzema for the 74th-minute opener and scored the second himself eight minutes later, Benzema crowning what had looked set to be a frustrating evening with Madrid's third in the final seconds.

The match started in its expected pattern with APOEL showcasing the disciplined defending – particularly in their own penalty area – that had brought them this far in the competition as they sought to make life difficult for their illustrious visitors. Their plan might have been disrupted when centre-back Marcelo Oliveira went off injured in the 13th minute but Kaká came on his place and APOEL's rearguard remained unruffled.

Madrid, with Nuri Şahin taking the place of the suspended Xabi Alonso in central midfield and Fábio Coentrão starting at left-back, pressed forward at every opportunity. It was the Portuguese who initiated many of the visitors' attacking moves in a first half in which Madrid enjoyed 70% of the possession.

Coentrão's cross created the first chance of the game as it was cleared only as far as Mesut Özil just inside the penalty area. The German playmaker had time to steady himself before sending in a right-foot volley that Dionisios Chiotis beat away diving to his right.

The APOEL goalkeeper was called upon again to keep out two Cristiano Ronaldo efforts in quick succession, but he was powerless to intervene when Ronaldo found Şahin in space on the left. The Turkish international's cross left Benzema with what appeared a simple finish, but the striker hit his shot into the ground and over.

While Madrid continued to push their hosts back, it was not until the 64th-minute introduction of Kaká that they finally unlocked the APOEL defence. Ronaldo and Sergio Ramos both had shots blocked while Benzema steered an effort just wide but the Frenchman would not be denied and finally broke the deadlock, diving to head in Kaká's pinpoint left-wing cross.

The visitors sensed their opportunity, Chiotis saving from Ronaldo and Benzema as Madrid looked to increase their lead. The goalkeeper, the hero against Olympique Lyonnais in the round of 16, was beaten again when substitute Marcelo broke down the left and pulled a low cross back for Kaká to slot in.

With the APOEL players tiring, Madrid broke with pace and Özil's low cross was turned in by Benzema to put Madrid in total command of the tie. Despite the margin of defeat the home supporters – so crucial to APOEL's success this season – gave their favourites a standing ovation at the final whistle, but Madrid look certain to progress.

Last updated: 27/11/12 20.48CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefachampionsleague/season=2012/matches/round=2000265/match=2007681/postmatch/report/index.html#madrid+made+work+apoel

Lineups

apoel

APOEL

real madrid

Real Madrid

22
ChiotisDionisios Chiotis (GK)
1
CasillasIker Casillas (GK) (C)
3
Paulo JorgePaulo Jorge
3
PepePepe
6
OliveiraMarcelo Oliveira
Substitution13
4
RamosSergio Ramos
7
PoursaitidesSavvas Poursaitides
5
Nuri ŞahinNuri Şahin
Substitution84
8
AíltonAílton
6
KhediraSami Khedira
10
CharalambidesConstantinos Charalambides (C)
7
RonaldoCristiano Ronaldo
11
TričkovskiIvan Tričkovski
9
BenzemaKarim Benzema
Goal74
Goal90
23
Hélio PintoHélio Pinto
Substitution72
10
ÖzilMesut Özil
26
Nuno MoraisNuno Morais
15
Fábio CoentrãoFábio Coentrão
Substitution64
29
AlexandrouNektarios Alexandrou
Substitution46
17
ArbeloaÁlvaro Arbeloa
98
William BoaventuraWilliam Boaventura
20
HiguaínGonzalo Higuaín
Substitution64

Substitutes

78
PardoUrko Pardo (GK)
13
AdánAntonio Adán (GK)
4
KakáKaká
Substitution13
8
KakáKaká
Substitution64
Goal82
9
SolariEsteban Solari
Substitution72
11
GraneroEsteban Granero
Substitution84
20
AdornoAldo Adorno
12
MarceloMarcelo
Substitution64
31
Hélder SousaHélder Sousa
Substitution46
16
Hamit AltıntopHamit Altıntop
77
SolomouAthos Solomou
18
AlbiolRaúl Albiol
81
MarcinhoMarcinho
19
VaraneRaphaël Varane

Coach

Ivan Jovanović (SRB) José Mourinho (POR)

Referee

Felix Brych (GER)

Assistant referees

Mark Borsch (GER), Stefan Lupp (GER)

Fourth official

Knut Kircher (GER)

Additional assistant referees

Markus Wingenbach (GER), Peter Sippel (GER)

Legend:

  • GoalsGoals
  • Own goalOwn goal
  • PenaltiesPenalties
  • Missed PenaltiesMissed Penalties
  • reds_cardRed Cards
  • yellow_cardsYellow cards
  • yellow_red_cardsYellow/red card
  • SubstitutionSubstitution
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