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News Archive

Champions League, quarter finals, first leg

Barcelona 5 - Shakhtar Donetsk 1

The much vaunted semi-final meeting between Barcelona and Real Madrid is looking almost certain after Barcelona thrashed Shakhtar Donetsk 5-1 on Wednesday. Guardiola's fears of a dangerous rival proved unfounded as Iniesta picked up a loose ball on the edge of the area to open the scoring with less than two minutes on the clock. Willian and Luiz Adriano had a couple of chances each though as the Ukrainian side came close to levelling the scores, but with just under half an hour gone Dani Alves beat the offside trap to control a high pass from Iniesta and take the ball round Pyatov to score a second. Piqué made it three some eight minutes in to the second half following a set-piece corner, and although Rakitskiy got one back from Srna's free kick, Keita restored the three goal cushion just a minute later after Messi set him up. The action continued, Luiz Adriano unlucky to see a shot bounce off the far post back in to the hands of Valdés, and Messi having a strike ruled out for a borderline offside. Xavi put the result beyond Shakhtar's reach though with a fifth goal near the end, taking us to within ninety minutes of what will be four matches in 18 days between the two Spanish giants. (06.04.11)

Real Madrid 4 - Tottenham Hotspur 0

Real Madrid are virtually sure of a place in the semi-finals after a 4-0 victory over Tottenham Hotspur. Mourinho's side went ahead in only the fourth minute when ex Arsenal striker Adebayor got on the end of Özil's corner to head down past Gomes. And a few minutes later Harry Redknapp's plans were further scuppered when Crouch was sent off for a second booking. The visiting coach had already been forced to change his starting line-up when Lennon pulled out at the last minute after feeling sick just before the kick-off, but his side held on up to the break despite surviving a couple of penalty appeals shortly before half time. Twelve minutes in to the second half though Adebayor headed his second of the night from Marcelo's cross, and a few minutes later Di María made it three after picking up Özil's short pass and leaving Assou for dead before beating the keeper. From then on it was a damage limitation exercise for Spurs, but with three minutes to go Cristiano Ronaldo surely put the tie beyond doubt with a fourth goal from Kaká's lofted cross. Now it's up to Barcelona to do their part tomorrow to set up what could be an all Spanish semi-final. (05.04.11)