Real Madrid are set to reach their first Champions League semi-final for eight years after thrashing ten-man Tottenham Hotspur 4-0.
Spurred on by a spectacular pre-match introduction, Madrid started strongly with Ronaldo firing wide before Di María forced a corner off Vedran Ćorluka. From Mesut Özil’s subsequent centre, Adebayor connected with a downward header that evaded Heurelho Gomes and Luka Modrić’s attempt to clear on the line.
Things got even worse for the Premier League side when after only 15 minutes Peter Crouch, already booked for bringing down Sergio Ramos, collected a second yellow card for a challenge on Marcelo.
At that point, is was all hands on deck defensively for Spurs and the question was could they withstand the Real Madrid onslaught for the next 75 minutes? Spurs defended gamely, but eventually the speed, class, and extra man of Real Madrid wore the London club down.
Sensing the need for an attacking outlet Harry Redknapp sent on Jermain Defoe at half-time yet it was the nine-time European champions who increased the pace up front. Ronaldo began the second half by fizzing a low drive just wide and he was involved again as Madrid finally doubled their advantage in the 57th minute, playing a short corner for Marcelo to deliver a cross that Adebayor met with a resounding header.
It got even better for the home support in the 72nd minute. Winning possession in the middle of the pitch Xabi Alonso quickly released Sami Khedira who in turn found Di María on the right. Cutting inside, the Argentinian international unleashed a wonderful left-footed strike from the corner of the area that left Gomes a spectator.
The Brazilian was beaten again with three minutes left. Substitute Kaká picked out Ronaldo for a volley that crept inside the goalkeeper’s left-hand post to leave Madrid’s quest for a tenth European title in good shape and Tottenham’s first Champions League campaign all but over.
In the last month both Barcelona and Real Madrid have taken apart Premier League clubs. Is their any doubt that the two best teams in Europe at the moment are Real Madrid and Barcelona?
If Barcelona can see of Shaktar in their quarter-final, we would be treated to four meetings between Barca and Real Madrid in three weeks. That will be explosive both on and off the pitch.