Tuesday, March 27th, 2012
APOEL Nicosia 0 – Real Madrid 3 (Champions League quarter-final 1st leg, March 27, 2012) (Alternative highlights & Longer highlights.) Real Madrid pelted the APOEL net unsuccessfully throughout the opening exchanges as Sami Khedira, Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema, Mesut Ozil (super stop) all fired efforts on Chiotis’ net. The one-way attacking traffic continued with efforts from Fabio Coentrao and Cristiano Ronaldo as Madrid threatened down the left. Los Blancos should have opened just after the half hour when Ronaldo combined with Sahin down the left but Karim Benzema failed to hit the target when facing an empty net. Real’s attacking strategy continued early in the second half when Karim Benzema shot on target 90 seconds after the restart. APOEL won a few minutes respite courtesy of Ailton’s fancy footwork, but the Spaniards were soon back on the attack when a Ronaldo free-kick caused havoc in the hosts box. In the 72nd minute Real finally scored when an inswinging Kaka cross was planted home by Karim Benzema’s diving header. In the 82nd minute Real went 2-up as subs Marcelo and Kaka combined, for the latter to apply the finishing touch. APOEL loked dead and buried in the tie when Ozil teed up Karim Benzema for a third at the start of injury time.
Individual highlights: Cristiano Ronaldo.