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Madrid, Chelsea into Champions League quarters
LONDON (AP) - Real Madrid reached the Champions League quarterfinals for the first time in seven years by sweeping aside Lyon on Wednesday, and Chelsea relied on its first-leg goals to oust FC Copenhagen.
“I’m relaxed rather than euphoric because for me this is normal,” Mourinho said. “Madrid is too big a club not to be there.”
Not only does the victory end Madrid’s miserable record, but it keeps Mourinho on course to become the first coach to win the competition with three different clubs, having led Inter Milan to the trophy last season and FC Porto to the 2004 title.
While Madrid is a nine-time European champion, Chelsea has yet to conquer the continent.
Having won 2-0 in the away leg at Copenhagen, Chelsea was held to a 0-0 draw at Stamford Bridge by the Danish champions.
“We needed to be careful at the back, any goal would have given them belief,” Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech said. “The job was done, we kept a clean sheet. The only thing missing was converting our chances.”
Chelsea and Madrid will join Inter Milan, Barcelona, Manchester United, Tottenham, Schalke and Shakhtar Donetsk in Friday’s draw for the last eight.
“I prefer to avoid Inter and Chelsea because emotionally it’s difficult to play against your people, your friends,” Mourinho said.
It is a draw Madrid hasn’t been in since 2004, but now Mourinho will be hoping to deliver the club’s 10th European title.
The away goal from the 1-1 draw in the first leg gave Madrid a slight advantage, and Marcelo made it 2-1 in the 37th minute.
The Brazilian defender played a one-two with Cristiano Ronaldo before cutting inside defender Dejan Lovren and powering a shot past goalkeeper Hugo Lloris.
Benzema found the back of the net with a header soon after but he was ruled offside. However, the France striker scored in the 66th, latching onto Marcelo’s long pass upfield and slotting the ball through Lloris‘ legs.
“We couldn’t match them tonight. We came up against a very good team that closed us down from the outset,” Lyon coach Claude Puel said. “We couldn’t loosen up, we made a lot of mistakes and we showed nerves.”
By Mangosuthu Buthelezi
Memories of a long brotherhood tempered in common struggle
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