Ronaldo brace lifts Real
Real Madrid overcame a sluggish first half before running out comfortable 3-0 winners over 10-man Marseille.
By James Pearson
Last Updated: 01/10/09 9:11am
Real Madrid overcame a sluggish first half before running out comfortable 3-0 winners over 10-man Marseille at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Manuel Pellegrini's star-studded side were slow out of the blocks and the French visitors more than held their own in the first half.
However, it was a different story after half-time with Cristiano Ronaldo scoring twice and Kaka's penalty adding the icing on the cake.
Marseille were forced to play out the final 30 minutes of action a man light after Souleymane Diawara collected his second yellow card after fouling Ronaldo for Real's penalty.
The visitors had the first chance of the match at Santiago Bernabeu with Benoit Cheyrou sending a left-footed shot from the edge of the penalty area just over Iker Casillas' crossbar.
Real were struggling to create chances so Karim Benzema dropped deep to find space and while he worked himself a sight of goal his long-range effort was never troubling Steve Mandanda's goal.
Marseille were looking lively on the break and only some great anticipation from Casillas ensured Mamadou Niang was unable to get a shot away following a neat through-ball from the towering Stephane Mbia.
Slowly but sure Real were clicking up front, although Mandanda's save down to his left after good work by Kaka was his first real save of the contest 21 minutes into the match.
Marseille should have got their noses in front soon after when Niang got the better of Pepe from Lucho's through-ball, but his near post shot was well covered by Casillas with Real's defence all at sea.
Ronaldo burst into life with two-long range efforts that had Mandanda scrambling to make a save, although the l'OM keeper managed to keep out the world's most expensive footballer.
Benzema was unlucky to see an over-head kick float over while Niang's shot at the other end was easy for Casillas as the teams went in all-square at the interval.
Just minutes into the re-start Diawarra was rightly booked for a thumping challenge on Benzema, a yellow card that would prove costly.
Soon after Marcelo lashed a left-footed shot wide of Mandanda's far post the home side found that break-through goal and it was route one all the way.
Pepe's long-ball picked out Ronaldo who coolly slotted home past the onrushing Mandanda for the simplest of openers.
Two minutes later they doubled their advantage when Kaka slotted home from the penalty spot after Diawarra, who was shown a second yellow card, was harshly punished for bringing down Ronaldo.
Real made the 10 men pay by adding a slick third that no defence in the world could handle. Benzema played a clever one-two with Kaka before squaring the ball for Ronaldo to tap home ahead of Laurent Bonnart.
Marseille, to their credit did not throw in the towel, although substitute Brandao's long-range left-footer was never seriously troubling Casillas, who only had a few token saves to make throughout the second half.Real are now three points clear in Group C with a 100 per cent record following AC Milan's stunning home defeat to FC Zurich at the San Siro.
|Real Madrid||Team Statistics||Marseille|
|0||1st Half Goals||0|
|6||Shots on Target||6|
|9||Shots off Target||5|