Real Madrid have cruised through to the Champions League semi-finals courtesy of a 5-2 home win over APOEL Nicosia tonight making it an 8-2 aggregate win.
The victory made it six times out of six for Real boss Jose Mourinho guiding a side into the final four and despite a few lapses, it was done in style as the Spanish giants set up a juicy two-legged tie with German powerhouse Bayern Munich.
Real peppered the goals early whilst in cruise control and managed to essentially wrap up the tie in the 25th minute when Cristiano Ronaldo finished with ease at the back post after Marcelo’s leftwing cross was slightly helped on by Gonzalo Higuain into the path of the Portuguese ace who needed no invitation to poke home unmarked.
Ten minutes after the opener, Madrid were two ahead on the night when Kaka produced an audacious finish from the left flank, lifting the ball into the far corner from outside the area with a sublime effort after a sighter just moments prior.
Real were sailing along with job done and it came back to bite them when they conceded in the 67th minute when Ailton played a deft reverse pass into the path of Gustavo Manduca who took a neat first touch before slotting past Iker Casillas with his left to give APOEL something to celebrate.
Sanity was restored about ten minutes later when Ronaldo netted his 49th goal of the season with a brilliant free-kick from a tight angle on the left flank which he punched into the far corner off the finger tips of Urko Pardo to make it 3-1 on the night and 6-1 on aggregate.
Madrid were not done yet as substitutes Angel di Maria and Jose Callejon combined with the latter latching onto a long ball before cutting back in from the left and shooting across his body to beat Pardo at his near post.
The Cypriots were able to get another goal back in the 82nd minute when they awarded a questionable penalty as Hamit Altintop clearly got all ball when he brought down Aldo Adorno in the area but the decision was made with Esteban Solari stepping up and coolly finishing past Casillas who was nowhere near it to give APOEL another consolation prize.
The game had really heated up in terms of scoring chances and Madrid managed to grab a fifth when di Maria won a tackle before picking up the loose ball and upon advancing to the edge of the area, decided to cheekily send a chip over the APOEL defence and Pardo for a stunning finish.
It was another stunning attacking display from Madrid who will be happy to have that game out of the way to concentrate on the Bayern challenge but for APOEL, it was another learning experience in a fantastic season in Europe’s top competition which will only serve them well.
UEFA Champions League quarter-final – second leg
Santiago Bernabeu, Madrid – 70,000
Yellow cards: REA - nil
APO - Savvas Poursaitidis 75’