Lyon knock Real out; United rout AC Milan
LONDON: Big-spending Real Madrid was knocked out of the Champions League by Lyon on Wednesday and Manchester United spoiled David Beckham’s return to Old Trafford with a 4-0 win over AC Milan.
Madrid were held 1-1 at home by Lyon which meant they went out 2-1 on aggregate and failed to reach the last eight for the sixth season in a row. In Manchester, two more goals by Wayne Rooney — who also scored twice in the first leg in Milan —helped United triumph 7-2 overall and join Arsenal and Bayern Munich in the quarter-finals.
Nine-time European champion Real spent $340 million on new players to try and win the trophy for the first time since 2002 and now will have to wait at least one more season.
It all looked hopeful for Madrid when they wiped out Lyon’s 1-0 first-leg lead within six minutes of the kickoff. A long pass by Jose Maria “Guti” Gutierrez’ released Cristiano Ronaldo down the left and the winger fired through the legs of goalkeeper Hugo Lloris for his seventh Champions League goal of the season.
It should have been 2-0 in the 26th when Gonzalo Higuain got clear and rounded the goalkeeper but fired against the post when faced by an empty net. Jean II Makoun, who scored Lyon’s spectacular goal in the first leg, squandered a rare chance for the visitor when a cross found him unmarked in front of goal as he miskicked the ball from 10 meters out.
Sidney Govou missed a similar chance early in the second half but Miralem Pjanic made it 1-1 in the 75th minute when he got clear down the left and fired past goalkeeper Iker Casillas. Madrid then needed two more goals to avoid going out, but surprisingly took off Kaka, and replaced him with veteran Raul Gonzalez.
At Old Trafford, Rooney scored United’s first two and Park Ji-sung and Darren Fletcher added two more. It was 3-0 by the time Beckham, on loan to Milan, went on as a substitute to a big ovation from the United fans and the former England captain.