Chelsea earn Barcelona clash; Real Madrid ease past Cypriot minnows

    Story highlights

    • Chelsea beat 10-man Benfica 2-1 at Stamford Bridge
    • Chelsea go through 3-1 on aggregate to meet Barcelona in last four
    • Benfica's Maxi Pereira sent off just before halftime for second yellow card
    • Real Madrid beat Apoel Nicosia 5-2 to go through 8-2 on aggregate
    Chelsea booked a semifinal date with Champions League holders Barcelona with a 2-1 win at Stamford Bridge over 10-man Benfica Wednesday.
    But their passage was not assured until substitute Raul Meireles scored the clinching goal in injury time.
    A first half penalty from Frank Lampard was canceled out by a late Javi Garcia header for the battling visitors, who had Maxi Pereira sent off just before halftime.
    Chelsea, who won 1-0 win in Lisbon last week, went through 3-1 on aggregate.
    Real Madrid thrashed spirited Cypriot minnows Apoel Nicosia 5-2 in their quarterfinal second leg in the Santiago Bernebeu stadium to win 8-2 on aggregate.
    Bayern Munich await Jose Mourinho's men in the last four.
    Cristiano Ronaldo put Real ahead midway through the first half as he connected with Marcelo's cross.
    Former World Player of the Year Kaka capped an electrifying first half performance with the second on 36 minutes with a curling shot.
    The visitors, the first Cypriot team to reach the last eight of the Champions League, had brief cause for celebration through a Gustavo Manduca goal just after the hour mark, but Ronaldo grabbed his second with a stunning free kick to re-open a two-goal advantage on the night.
    It was his eighth in the Champions League this season and leaves him one short of 50 in all competitions.
    Jose Callejon made it four for Real, but the visitors were not finished yet.
    Hamit Altintop brought down Adorno for a penalty and Estbeban Solari sent Iker Casillas the wrong way.
    An impudent chip from Angel di Maria rounded off the Real scoring on an eventful night.
    Chelsea's continued their passage under interim manager Roberto Di Matteo, but their fans were kept on the edge of their seats until the very end of their second leg tie.
    Benfica made a bright start but when Garcia brought down Ashley Cole to concede a penalty, well-taken by Lampard, Chelsea could breath easier.
    Pereira, who had been needlessly booked for dissent, was shown his second yellow for a studs up challenge on Jon Obi Mikel to leave his side with an uphill task.
    But Chelsea wasted chances to wrap up the match, Ramires missing from close range and Fernando Torres firing agonizingly wide to leave Benfica with late hope.
    That was intensified as Garcia rose unmarked to head past Petr Cech only for Mereiles to burst clear and score with a thumping shot.
    A relieved Di Matteo said that he had always expected a tough passage to the semifinals.
    "We knew before the game we were going to face a difficult game tonight and it proved that.
    "Benfica are a good side, but we are pleased we are in the semifinal now. The second goal was missing to kill the game. With a 1-0 lead they still had a chance and they knew that. We missed a lot of chances to kill the game," he told ITV Sport.