Real Madrid beats Borussia Dortmund 3-0 in the Champions League quarterfinals
Cristiano Ronaldo equals the record for most Champions League goals in a season
Gareth Bale also scores for Real Madrid in the comprehensive first-leg victory
Paris Saint-Germain defeats Chelsea 3-1 in Wednesday's other quarterfinal in Paris
With an awesome four-goal display from striker Robert Lewandowski in the first leg of their semifinal last year, Borussia Dortmund all but knocked Real Madrid out of the Champions League.
On Wednesday when the teams met again in the first leg of the quarterfinals, it was Real Madrid’s turn to inflict a heavy defeat and realistically seal a spot in the next round.
And two men jeered by their own supporters last weekend played a key role, Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale.
Both scored – Ronaldo tied the single season record with his 14th goal before leaving due to injury – as Los Blancos thumped an under-strength Dortmund 3-0 at Madrid’s Bernabeu stadium. Dortmund pulled off a miracle victory in the 2013 quarterfinals against Malaga and it looks like only a similar scenario would see Jurgen Klopp’s men progress.
“It’s a magnificent result,” Isco, the other Madrid goal scorer, told Spanish television. “We are pleased with the 3-0, above all for not conceding a goal.
“It’s a big step towards a place in the semifinals.”
In a battle of two clubs rejuvenated thanks to mega wealthy owners, Paris Saint-Germain added to Chelsea’s woes by prevailing 3-1 in Wednesday’s other quarterfinal.
Klopp called Real Madrid the “overwhelming” favorite with his team missing among others the suspended Lewandowski, Neven Subotic, Ilkay Gundogan and Jakub Blaszczykowski – and it didn’t take long for the home team to prove him right.
Bale, the world’s most expensive player, poked the ball past Roman Weidenfeller in the third minute.
Following a spell where Dortmund managed to contain Real Madrid – Weidenfeller did, though, keep out Ronaldo’s free kick – Isco’s low finish in the 27th minute doubled the advantage and the record nine-time tournament champion cruised to the interval.
Isco, in the Malaga side ousted by Dortmund, only started because of an illness to winger Angel di Maria.
Klopp got a response early in the second half but Dortmund fans must have been ruing the absence of Lewandowski even more.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Henrik Mkhitaryan missed chances, then Ronaldo got the crucial third from close range in the 57th minute.
His 14 goals equal Barcelona rival Lionel Messi’s output in 2011/2012 and Jose Altafini’s European Cup mark for AC Milan in 1962/63.
Defender Pepe’s sliding block prevented Dortmund from getting a goal back.
In the lone worry for Real Madrid, Ronaldo was substituted with what appeared to be a leg injury in the 80th minute.
Paris Saint-Germain, running away with the French league title, won its 10th game in succession in all competitions.
Chelsea, meanwhile, suffered another defeat after a surprise 1-0 loss to Crystal Palace last weekend. The Blues were displaced atop the Premier League by Liverpool.
Ezequiel Lavezzi pounced after a poor defensive clearance from John Terry in the third minute – it was the normally reliable Terry who netted an own goal against Palace. Chelsea, starting without a recognized striker, drew level when the referee ruled Thiago Silva brought down his fellow Brazilian Oscar.
Eden Hazard converted for 1-1 from the spot in the 27th minute but David Luiz’s own goal in the 61st gave Paris Saint-Germain the lead.
With an away goal, that score probably wouldn’t have been daunting for Chelsea ahead of the second leg. But Javier Pastore beat Petr Cech deep in injury time to alter the complexion of the tie.
“The third goal was ridiculous,” Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho told Sky Sports. “But we played against a great side full of great players, especially the attackers.
“It’s a difficult job now but not impossible, nothing is impossible in football. But they have players who out of nothing can score goals, we are not a team full of talent who can score lots of goals.”
PSG, however, saw talisman Zlatan Ibrahimovic limp off in the second half.
Before the game, police told CNN there was a fight between Chelsea and PSG supporters and that one was slightly injured. No one was arrested, police added.
In Tuesday’s games, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid drew 1-1 while defending champion Bayern Munich was held to a 1-1 draw at Manchester United.